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Old 02-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #2081
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Sorry, last one for now. I really should catch up before I make comments but I go through haphazardly and end up doing this. On the subject of christians do bad things, most of the violence perpetrated in the middle ages and beyond was by christians. In fact one of the popes, can't remember which, was given sainthood BECAUSE of his exquisite torture techniques.
And let's not forget it was religion that prompted the Inquisition! Ahhh how power corrupts.


And don't worry about how you catch up, I love your otter avatar!
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:00 PM   #2082
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[QUOTE=raquelita_uno;19987228]I had joined a monthly card swap hosted by Amy Phelps last year that was amazing! The themes were pretty open and varied and it was fun having so many cards on had. Kind of in keeping with this thread though, I was getting quite a few "praying for you" cards which I just don't use. I've now opted to going to the swaps threads on SCS and choosing which swaps I want to participate in. This way I can avoid ones where the theme or sentiment isn't quite me and I can choose how many swaps I'll do and what kind of time committment I'll have. I would really suggest checking out the swap board here.QUOTE]

Thank you, Rachel. I will check it out. It sounds like they are one card commitments. You cant get much more low-pressure than that.

I just noticed that my meager gallery is more than 50% cat cards. I still love making the cat cards, but I am in a rut.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:10 PM   #2083
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I sometimes catch myself wishing I had the comfort of believing in those situations, particularly when my sister died, but then I start thinking (thinking- what a curse it is sometimes) about all the negative stuff that goes with that brief comfort and I go back to feeling pretty good about the fact that when I die my molecules will be returned to the universe and live on that way. Kinda corny but that is what comforts me. And I so think someone out there watching over me is creepy too.
Yeah, I kind of did the same thing. We lost another family member this past weekend also. This one does not seem so bad other than now I am afraid to go to sleep for fear I won't wake up! Once I got over the sadness of the loss, I thought about it and while I had brief moments of comfort back when I did believe, it certainly did not make things EASIER...loss is loss no matter what. Time is the only thing that heals.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:25 PM   #2084
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Okay, so I've been debating with myself for about a week now... trying to decide if I should speak up here and say hello. I guess this is my bashful way of peeking my head around the corner and giving a shy smile.

Hello... my name is Kitty... and I'm an agnostic.

I was raised (loosely) as a Lutheran Christian, and for a while I was very caught up in it. I tend to be one of those people who doesn't do things half-way, so once I committed to it, I really tried to learn all I could. But I asked a lot of questions... and that didn't seem to be very welcome, at least at the church I was attending at the time.

In the end, it was the hypocrisy that drove me away. At this particular church (I'm not going to say this happens everywhere), it seemed that everyone put on their Sunday best and pretended to follow all the rules one day a week... but were some of the nastiest, mean-spirited, reckless people I have met, the other 6 days a week.

So I left this church, and began researching other religions... and was surprised by how similar they all were. And yet, each one thought "theirs was the one true way". This just didn't make sense to me.

In the end, I reached the conclusion that how I live my life 24/7 is more important than who (or what) I do (or don't) worship.

So I'm still learning, and researching... and probably always will be. I don't expect to ever have all the answers (I don't think we ever can), but in the meantime, I'm just trying to be the best person I can... not out of fear, not because of what "comes next", but simply because it's the right thing to do. And as I've learned from atheists friends, if this really is the only chance we get, isn't it even more important that we get it right, and make it count?
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #2085
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Hi Kitty!
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience at that particular church. I'm an agnostic too! But I like to tell people that I'm an "atheist" because when I say "agnostic" it gives them the impression that I'm still searching - but I'm not. I'm content not knowing (it doesn't matter to me) if there really is a god or not. Well, you are always welcome here!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #2086
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Hi Kitty and welcome. My name is Stephanie and I am an atheist! I couldn't agree more with your comments that how we live our life is more important than who we worship, and that we need to make our time here count. I have been an atheist all my life (both parents were atheists) so I haven't had the same struggle as you have had. But there are lots of people here who have and will be able to understand how difficult it is to make a break from all you have been bought up to believe. You certainly don't need religion to be a good, decent, law-abiding person, respectful of others.
So, well done for getting up the courage to drop us a line, and I hope you will come by often.
Stephanie
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #2087
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Welcome, Kitty! I think it took a little while for me to get to atheist, too. Part of it for me was, I realized that I hadn't been to church or even thought about religions - or god - in several years. Yet nothing in my life was different. Which got me thinking.

And here I am!

Good luck to you on your journey. Hope you can feel comfortable here, ask anything, whatever.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:13 PM   #2088
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Welcome, Kitty. I think most of us here have also come to the conclusion that being a good person because we choose to be, not because we fear not to be, is an important distinction. I look forward to getting to know you better. I am not a very active member of the forum, but I do try to keep up with the latest posts. I have to admit that I am not a very active stamper either. I go in fits and starts. Most of my stamping is with a club called Crazy for Cats Card club. We exchange cards with as many or few members of the club as we choose. Receive a card - send a card. The only rule is that every card has to have at least one stamped cat image. I am sure I have acquired well over 100 cat stamps. It amazes me how many are out there.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:41 AM   #2089
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Welcome, Kitty~ This is a great little spot to gather, pull up a chair and stay awhile!! I feel comfortable here, I must say, because it is always nice to know there are "others" out there!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:11 PM   #2090
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Gosh, thanks everyone for the warm welcome! It is nice to have a place to talk about things like this. I don't lie about my beliefs, but I usually avoid the subject, if I can. With most people, it's just easier that way.

I would never try to convert someone else to my way of thinking. First, I don't think there has to be one single answer - I think we all have a unique path to follow. And second, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know, LOL. Who am I to say I'm right and they're wrong? I used to think that this made me more open-minded... but now I realize that they aren't necessarily closed-minded. They simply can't accept that there are other possible answers without questioning their own faith. Since I respect their right to follow the path they have chosen, I have to respect the fact that they can't accept mine. (Sorry, I'm probably not explaining that very well. It makes sense in my head, but not when I try to write it out, LOL.)
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:31 PM   #2091
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Kitty, it is very scary to think about giving up a belief you've held for your whole life.

I was raised Catholic, the whole nine yards, grade school, high school and then a Jesuit University. So I was probably 50 before I started asking questions and thinking about it differently. Then it took me awhile before I was willing to say that I believed there was no god. Just thinking it was scary!

I have a feeling that there are and have been a lot more people higher up that don't believe but never say so. And I believe we will have a gay President in this country before we have a known atheist. That's how "bad" people think it is.

But I think that being able to be open about it is important. It would be nice if people could realize that they have a lot of nice friends and neighbors, even relatives, who don't believe but are still regular normal good people.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:08 PM   #2092
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they aren't necessarily closed-minded. They simply can't accept that there are other possible answers without questioning their own faith.
I can't remember where I saw this...but it was a quote that read something along the lines of how I am no different than you, I just believe in one less god than you do. And it went on to say (something like) when you see how easily you dismiss those who believe in many gods you will understand how I can dismiss yours. Something like that. Wish I could remember who said it so I could quote it properly!! Ahh, if it were only that easy to let people know that we are not terrible people.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:10 PM   #2093
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Kitty, it is very scary to think about giving up a belief you've held for your whole life.

I was raised Catholic, the whole nine yards, grade school, high school and then a Jesuit University. So I was probably 50 before I started asking questions and thinking about it differently. Then it took me awhile before I was willing to say that I believed there was no god. Just thinking it was scary!

I have a feeling that there are and have been a lot more people higher up that don't believe but never say so. And I believe we will have a gay President in this country before we have a known atheist. That's how "bad" people think it is.

But I think that being able to be open about it is important. It would be nice if people could realize that they have a lot of nice friends and neighbors, even relatives, who don't believe but are still regular normal good people.
Yes, giving up long-held beliefs is very scary. It sounds like your journey was even crazier than mine! It took me years after the leaving the church before I was ready to admit I wasn't a Christian.

As for sharing my beliefs with others... you're right. It takes a lot of people with a different idea to stand up before the majority will listen. I probably need to try harder to be one of those "other" voices.

It doesn't help that I've always been bashful, and pretty much an all-around misfit, LOL. (Pacifist, vegan, childless-by-choice... sort of an over-grown hippie.)
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:14 PM   #2094
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Gosh, thanks everyone for the warm welcome! It is nice to have a place to talk about things like this. I don't lie about my beliefs, but I usually avoid the subject, if I can. With most people, it's just easier that way.

I would never try to convert someone else to my way of thinking. First, I don't think there has to be one single answer - I think we all have a unique path to follow. And second, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know, LOL. Who am I to say I'm right and they're wrong? I used to think that this made me more open-minded... but now I realize that they aren't necessarily closed-minded. They simply can't accept that there are other possible answers without questioning their own faith. Since I respect their right to follow the path they have chosen, I have to respect the fact that they can't accept mine. (Sorry, I'm probably not explaining that very well. It makes sense in my head, but not when I try to write it out, LOL.)
Kitty, welcome to this forum. I don't post very often here, but love to read everything.

I'm a lot like you in how I present myself to others. I live in the Bible Belt, smack in the middle of Oklahoma. There is a church, usually Baptist, on every corner. (not really, of course, but there are lots of them here.)

I never get into discusions about religion if I can help it. Partly, it's my nature anyway to be a non-confrontational person. I don't go looking for trouble, lol.

And, also, I respect others' beliefs. I think religion/spiritual beliefs are very personal.

I don't feel a need to explain myself to anyone, nor do I want to disagree with anyone else's personal belief system.

Politics, now, that's a whole other thing. Don't want anyone's religious beliefs turned into laws that I must obey!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #2095
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I can't remember where I saw this...but it was a quote that read something along the lines of how I am no different than you, I just believe in one less god than you do. And it went on to say (something like) when you see how easily you dismiss those who believe in many gods you will understand how I can dismiss yours. Something like that. Wish I could remember who said it so I could quote it properly!! Ahh, if it were only that easy to let people know that we are not terrible people.
You know, one of my "defining moments" was an ethical discussion with an atheist friend when I was about 20, and still considered myself a Christian (but no longer going to church). I asked this friend how he could be motivated to live a good life... what made him want to get up each day and go through the motions, and do the right thing when there was no meaning, no "reason". His answer was that he "did the right thing because it was the right thing to do", and that it was even more important for him to make the most of each and every moment because you only get one chance. He felt that he embraced life much more fully than his Christian friends.

I'm probably not doing his explanation justice, but it was so amazing to me to realize that you really could have ethics without religion (something that seems so ridiculously obvious to me now).

(Gosh, more I want to say... you all are making me chatty, LOL. Sadly, my evening's running out. But I'll be back!)
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #2096
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I never get into discusions about religion if I can help it. Partly, it's my nature anyway to be a non-confrontational person. I don't go looking for trouble, lol.

And, also, I respect others' beliefs. I think religion/spiritual beliefs are very personal.

I don't feel a need to explain myself to anyone, nor do I want to disagree with anyone else's personal belief system.
I totally understand what you're saying. It is very personal, and it's also very difficult to share a different perspective without making them feel like you're saying their way is wrong. You aren't - but they have no other way of interpreting it because in their world, there is only one right answer. Kudos to you for keeping your beliefs, and your compassion, in an area where you're probably in a very small, quiet minority.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #2097
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Hi Kitty
I don't post here very often. The group is too intellectual for me lol I simply don't believe in God. Never did. Never questioned it. Never actually thought about any of it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #2098
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Yes, giving up long-held beliefs is very scary. It sounds like your journey was even crazier than mine! It took me years after the leaving the church before I was ready to admit I wasn't a Christian.

As for sharing my beliefs with others... you're right. It takes a lot of people with a different idea to stand up before the majority will listen. I probably need to try harder to be one of those "other" voices.

It doesn't help that I've always been bashful, and pretty much an all-around misfit, LOL. (Pacifist, vegan, childless-by-choice... sort of an over-grown hippie.)
I wouldn't necessarily recommend just sharing your beliefs with others. There can be retaliation.

I read a book a few years ago that was basically a look at the numbers of atheists and how they'd "come out" and what happened. Some were disinherited. Some no longer have family that will talk to them.

I admire the public figures who can stand up as atheists and argue with the best of them. But that's not for me.

I don't bring it up much but if it does come up and I know the person, I will mention it. Gently and quietly, but firmly.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #2099
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I wouldn't necessarily recommend just sharing your beliefs with others. There can be retaliation.

I read a book a few years ago that was basically a look at the numbers of atheists and how they'd "come out" and what happened. Some were disinherited. Some no longer have family that will talk to them.

I admire the public figures who can stand up as atheists and argue with the best of them. But that's not for me.

I don't bring it up much but if it does come up and I know the person, I will mention it. Gently and quietly, but firmly.
You're right, Kathy. It can backfire on you, depending on who you're speaking to. When I'm surrounded by devout Christians, I usually just smile and bite my tongue.

I do have some pretty close friends who know I do not have "traditional" beliefs and that I don't ever go to church. In that kind of group, I sometimes jokingly say something to the effect - "Well, you know what a "heathen" I am.... so I'm not going to discuss that." I've also been known to say, "I'm not at all a religious person, but I do consider myself a spiritual person." Most people seem okay with that statement.

In fact I was talking on the phone recently with a casual acquaintance (friend of a friend sort of thing). She is dealing with terrible problems with a grown son, and said "I hope you will pray for _____." I said, well I'm kind of a heathen, and my prayers bounce right back, but I'll give it a try." That's about as direct as I ever get.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #2100
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His answer was that he "did the right thing because it was the right thing to do", and that it was even more important for him to make the most of each and every moment because you only get one chance. He felt that he embraced life much more fully than his Christian friends.
I feel that way exactly and have said it many times In my opinion, if you are being good out of obligation and hope for reward, you are being good for the wrong reasons. I was anti religion before I decided I was atheist, I just sort of grew into how I feel today.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:02 PM   #2101
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Hi Kitty
I don't post here very often. The group is too intellectual for me lol I simply don't believe in God. Never did. Never questioned it. Never actually thought about any of it.
Victoria, my husband is the same way - always an atheist and never felt the need to question it. It's one of the things I like about my husband - he's very down-to-earth, doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about stuff. He says I "think too much". I suspect that your way is a lot easier. (Sometimes I just feel like my brain hurts, LOL.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:31 PM   #2102
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Can I ask a question?

Are any of you familiar with Pantheism?

According to Wikipedia: "Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal or anthropomorphic god."

My own interpretation is that everyone and everything is sacred, special, and connected. Everything we do has an effect on everything else. Everything we do makes a difference, in some small way, whether we ever see the effects or not. And no one is better or more important than anyone else - we are all equally special, important, sacred.

Or, to quote a Disney song, "every rock and tree and creature, has a life, has a spirit, has a name".

Perhaps it's wishful thinking on my part, but I like the idea that there is some meaning to life... which is the real reason I call myself an agnostic and not an atheist. I can't quite believe in a supreme being looking down on us and making decisions, but I do feel like maybe there's more to life than we can see.

(or maybe I just think too much.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #2103
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I think there is more, but I also think that science may one day understand it.

I just don't believe in the supernatural stuff. I think man created a god to suit him. Not the other way around. I think men manipulated people eons ago and now it's just accepted. But I do wonder if the men at the top of every religion really do believe in any of it.

I think most of us are united in that we are not religious here in this thread, beyond that, we have a plethora of different beliefs or feelings!

Disney always has something good to say. Pocahontas?
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #2104
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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And Kitty, you've been into the gallery! Thank you for your kind comments!
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:20 PM   #2105
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Disney always has something good to say. Pocahontas?
Yes, and yes. (Colors of the Wind... my favorite Disney song.)

And I agree about the science thing, too. I think a lot of what we call "supernatural" are things that we will one day be able to explain with science. (I like the idea that magic is simply science we don't yet understand.)

(And I wish I had more time for the gallery... slowly working my way through all of the wonderful stuff here!)
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:34 PM   #2106
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Kitty, what part of Ohio are you in? My DS just moved to Ohio right after Christmas. He's in Columbus.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:58 PM   #2107
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The stamping community seems to be overly religious, so I love to come over here when I get a bit overwhelmed with all that. I've been an atheist for about 4 years now (well, officially anyway), but never felt the pull of church or religion. Being a scientist in my past life, aka before motherhood, it just never seemed right to me I guess. I'm very big on proof and facts, not blind faith.

Thank you ladies for having the courage to be honest and serve as a safe haven here for people like myself. I know I'll need a lot of support trying to raise a child without religion here in Texas.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #2108
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Yes I think a lot of crafters tend to be religious. When I first started here, it seemed like everybody had scripture verses in their siggies! It's not quite as prevalent now.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:45 PM   #2109
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Yes I think a lot of crafters tend to be religious. When I first started here, it seemed like everybody had scripture verses in their siggies! It's not quite as prevalent now.
I noticed this too and my little form of protest is not to leave comments if either the card or siggie is religious.
Stephanie
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #2110
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I'm furious with people who call themselves Christian and say things like this (OK, I'd be furious with anyone who said things like this - the fact that they are saying this is the way their god is disgusts me) :

Are you happy now that the shooter grew up in a school without God? #thinkAboutit
ó Eric Hovind (@erichovind) December 14, 2012

Where was God? I thought God cared about the little children? (...) God is not going to go where he is not wanted. We have spent 50 years telling God to get lost. (...) We've kicked God out of our public school system and I think God would say to us "Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children but you gotta invite me back into your world first - I'm not gonna go where I'm not wanted - I am a gentleman". (...)
Back when we had prayer, the Bible, and the 10 commandments in schools we did not need guns.
--- Bryan Fischer, American Family Association[/FONT]

Doesn't it just make you want to believe? In a god that lets little children die to make a point that people aren't worshipping him enough? Oh yeah, sure.
Alyson, this is a huge part of the book of Exodus. God sent the angel of death to kill every first born son and the cattle too.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:25 PM   #2111
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Can I ask a question?

Are any of you familiar with Pantheism?

According to Wikipedia: "Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal or anthropomorphic god."

My own interpretation is that everyone and everything is sacred, special, and connected. Everything we do has an effect on everything else. Everything we do makes a difference, in some small way, whether we ever see the effects or not. And no one is better or more important than anyone else - we are all equally special, important, sacred.

Or, to quote a Disney song, "every rock and tree and creature, has a life, has a spirit, has a name".

Perhaps it's wishful thinking on my part, but I like the idea that there is some meaning to life... which is the real reason I call myself an agnostic and not an atheist. I can't quite believe in a supreme being looking down on us and making decisions, but I do feel like maybe there's more to life than we can see.

(or maybe I just think too much.)
Yep, very familiar with it and am sitting on the cusp of being a pantheist though I more formerly call myself (self-defined) Pagan.

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:23 PM   #2112
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hi Kitty and welcome! hooray for veganism!
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:07 AM   #2113
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Perhaps it's wishful thinking on my part, but I like the idea that there is some meaning to life...
(or maybe I just think too much.)
One of religion's strengths is its ability to exploit our need for a purpose in life and it does that very well. But just because it is comforting to think there is some point, or meaning, or grand plan beyond what we understand, doesn't make it so, at least not to me.

I like to think that we make our own meaning of life. You can waste a lot of time and energy looking for a grand plan or you can find satisfaction on a local scale. Appreciate what you have around you and find enjoyment in the little things.
Stephanie
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:47 AM   #2114
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But just because it is comforting to think there is some point, or meaning, or grand plan beyond what we understand, doesn't make it so, at least not to me.
That sums it up! I have been dealing with "comfort" lately having had 2 deaths in the family in the last few months. I was only recently able to draw that conclusion that you mention. I am so glad you said that...it really put into words how I have been feeling lately.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:59 AM   #2115
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When I got the email that there were several new posts here in the last 2 days, I was expecting to come here and find a lot of POPE WANTED-APPLY WITHIN posts. I have read a few of the news stories about it and I noticed that there is one of the Italian possibles who started a Conversation group including people from the arts and prominent atheists. His name started with A, but I dont remember what it was. I think he may be too liberal to get the job, but it is heartening that someone of prominence does not consider atheists to be devil spawn.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #2116
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I have been somewhat surprised at the overall lack of respect being shown for the pope in the media. I don't mind it, I was just a bit surprised. But everyone is making so many jokes about it. Did you know he gave his notice on Sarah Palin's birthday? The patron saint of quitters. lol
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #2117
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I have seen a lot of pope-jokes too! Surely the pope resigning makes a mockery of the belief Catholics have that the postion is an appointment by god? If god is in complete control of everything then why did he let Ratzinger get too sick to do the job? Who is in charge here?!
I can see this doing a lot of damage to the Catholic church. Yay.
Stephanie
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #2118
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I wonder if it had anything to do with the pedophile scandal. You know, to psychologically distance people's associations - like, a new pope, you might think, well HE had nothing to do with any of it.....
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #2119
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Kitty, what part of Ohio are you in? My DS just moved to Ohio right after Christmas. He's in Columbus.
A bashful but happy little welcome to Kathy's DS! I hope he finds much happiness here. I live in an itty-bitty village in the dead center of the state (Centerburg), but I work in Columbus. (I'm originally from California, so Ohio was a pretty big adjustment. I have a really good life here... but I do miss the sunshine.)

(And gosh, you sure all have been chatty today! Please excuse me while I type with my mouth full... I'll never catch up otherwise.)
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:10 PM   #2120
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Yes, I think the pedophile scandal had a lot to do with it. Plus his unbelievable claim that wearing condoms causes AIDS. And that business about the butler who spoke out on corruption within the church. All extremely embarrassing.
Stephanie
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