There seems to be a lot of negative vibes on the subject of religion passing around as of late. People are pretty closed-minded about the whole thing. They don't want to hear about anything except what they know, and when any religion conversation deviates from this, they start screaming "Don't force your X philosophy on me!".. Not everyone does it, just a small, small segment of the population that gives everyone else a bad name.

Well, I want to know about it.

If a particular belief has been strong enough to effect the way you live your live, there must be something pretty special about it. I don't want you to preach or to try to convert me, I just want to know about it and to understand it as best as I can. Faith is nothing without contrast. And besides, many have been the time that I've gained a greater insight into my own faith by hearing about the faiths of others.

Now, there are those who say that "My religion (or lack thereof) is the one true religion, and I don't want to hear about anything else from anyone because everyone else is WRONG." To those people, to people who are unwilling to put aside their pious attitudes only a moment, I have this to say to you:

You elitist prick!

If you're Christian (and most of you are), remember this: Jesus didn't go around saying things like "My father is the one true God, so BLOW ME", did he? No. He listened. He learned. He never forced he beliefs, he simply told what he believed to be true and left it at that. He asked questions, he did not try to prove people wrong.

And if you're atheist, remember this: you may have your logical theories that prove why God does not exist, and that's all fine and dandy. But in the scientific world, if you're unwilling to put your theories to the test, they mean less than nothing -- and any hypothesis worth it's sodium-chloride is given the chance to evolve based on new information; any physics professor will tell you that.

Talk to each other when you're asked. Listen when you're not. You'll soon learn more about each other though calm words then N+1 days of arguing could ever teach you. No one is saying you have to change what you believe, but you do have to learn how to understand your neighbor.

...Of course, I realise that by writing this, I am forcing my beliefs on all of you. It sucks when I'm a hypocrite.

I'm sure this will end up on the great big GTKYN cutting room floor in the sky, but why not.

I believe in nothing. Or more correctly, I believe in me.

I believe that I am wholly responsible for my own actions.

I believe that when I win an Academy Award, I shouldn't thank God for something I accomplished myself through hard work.

I believe that when I fuck up, I should be honest and not blame anyone else.

I believe that your friends can only take you so far.

I believe that when you die, you stay right where you are.

I believe that religion is a great way of making sure the poor don't rise up and kill the rich.

I believe that when lightning strikes me, it really is just dumb luck.

I believe in nothing that must be taken on faith alone.

I believe that one man can make a difference.

I believe that no one should force their beliefs on others, especially religious beliefs.

I believe that my friends find my beliefs very depressing.

This node gave me pause to think.

My salvation experience was quiet, yet complicated by the maelstorm going on in my home as a child. My father was gone for long periods of time and we moved changing schools as many as three or four times a year so there was no opportunity for me to learn from teachers or a helpful aunt to answer my questions as to why I was not being loved like I wanted. Dad made sure I went to church whenever he was home and believe me I attended churches of all was simply a matter of finding the nearest church on Sunday and going so I could say I have an ecumenical affection for religion and eclectic beliefs. It was in the midst of all this clamor, heartbreak, and confusion that I finally gave up and on a hot and muggy Georgia afternoon at the age of 7, I went upstairs to my bedroom, knelt and asked Jesus into my heart. I became a Christian.

That leap of faith was to have what I yearned for so much with all my heart. To be loved like I wanted.

For me this was contradictory to common sense. For to continue to love the person whom I wanted to love me as I wanted had terrible consequences and as a result I had to turn away to survive.

Faith coalesces where one knows and has experienced the limitations of rational thought.

A leap into faith occurs when one passes beyond the merely religious, faith goes beyond sensible processes that leads to a conclusion, and becomes a conviction. All rational thought is provisional and open to debate. Hence, it is a leap into a paradox: I know by not knowing; I believe because I cannot know - but due to this unknowing, I have established an unspeakable and direct relationship with that which is beyond thinking, but which leads me in the relationship. A leap into faith is truly a non-rational act of choice, possibly also in the light of the fallibility of the arguments for God's existence. Faith is defined in many ways. It can be belief and trust in and loyalty to God, belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion, firm belief in something for which there is no proof, or simple trust.

Jesus said, Let the little children come to me; I came and still remain a child in my faith.....there is always something new for me to discover and learn.

I also believe God has an awesome sense of humor;)

Thank you xunker for such a thought provoking and interesting question.

Many Christians I have met have been very cool people. There is that light, which shines from a balanced and kind person... Of course, there are cool people everywhere, another place with many cool people was when I went to aikido, so *beautiful*.And techno raves, too. But anyway, the Christians were so nice that I thought that if there is a Creator, I wanted him to guide me.

This wasn't an irrational decision! If you want, you can think of it as a scientific experiment, although of course the results of the experiment can't be analyzed with absolute certainty. But after about 8 years I believe there is something/someone out there. There have been many coincidences that have helped me.

It is also beautiful that quantum physics as we now understand it makes it impossible to prove that faith in mysterious coincidences must be bogus. (Although of course I am not saying that quantum physics proves the existence of Creator either! ;)

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