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To be or not to be?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lexus300, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I was brought up a Roman Catholic (for better or worse) we were inculcated in ‘the faith’ and woe betide the individual who challenged the authority of the Church.

    I observed from quite an early age (pre teen) that some of the congregation at Sunday mass gave the outward appearance of being very much a believer in the Gospels. Yet, for the other six days of the week their behaviours varied from nasty to downright wicked.

    I never experienced in my ‘home town’ church/school any ‘Priest or Teacher misbehaviour’ other than a propensity to violent chastisement for what they perceived as misbehaviour. My local church where I now live has had a very serious scandal regarding the resident Priest who is now in prison serving 23 years.

    The many recent scandals in the Roman Catholic church and their now admitted covering up, have left me with a sense that the church is too big and too corrupt to be corrected and because of all of that I have arrived at the painful conclusion that the RC church does not appeal to me like it used to.

    Many of you on here have made it very clear you do not believe in a god or in organised religion and before you start to crow at me, I do believe there is a divine creator/influence and I also believe that we go on after our earthly existence.

    So the big question for me is, ‘is it time to move from organized religion to some (free of organisation) form of trying to understand universal, natural, and spiritual laws’?

    I would be interested in any replies but in particular any Catholics who might have experienced a similar quandary.
    kibosh likes this.
  2. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    As far as belonging to a church is concerned, I think it is a case of what you are comfortable with.

    As far as belief is concerned, it is pretty much a case of what you believe your priorities are.

    In my case, it is truth. How do we find truth? Well, the scientific method has demonstrated itself to be the most effective way of finding truth. Using the scientific method, is there any evidence for a God? No, none whatsoever. The conclusion is straightforward.

    For others the conclusion is not so straightforward, either because they don't understand the scientific method and what it is capable of (and not capable of), or they are looking for things which the scientific method cannot help them with. (eg meaning of life)

    Best wishes with your quest.
    lexus300 likes this.
  3. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Genuine question. Do you need to label your faith?
    lanokia and monicabilongame like this.
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I think if you (or anyone) approaches it with an open mind (which is hard for any of us to do) the search and questioning will be really interesting.
  5. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    For me, this sounds like you only believe what you are told (via science), do you ever listen to your inner being? Faith is something you are either with or without as near as I can tell and I do have faith in more than just this earthly existence (science included).
    SundaeTrifle and kibosh like this.
  6. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I would have said yes a while ago but not now.
  7. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I will let you know when/if I have 'a road to Damascas' moment.;) I do read the NT and believe the teachings of Jesus I just cannot accept anymore the trappings of organized religion.
  8. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Just carry on being a good person. Live your life honourably, and honestly. Be kind to others, obey the law and cause no harm. If you believe that Jesus Christ was the perfect man, then he stands as a good role model. Try to do the very best you can do in all endeavours and you won't go far wrong, in my humble opinion.

    PS. I think God probably rolls his eyes at some of the trappings, pomp and structure of organised religions.
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I wasn't thinking of that.
    I think often the journey is more important than the arriving. In any case, whatever we believe isn't static, so I guess we never really 'arrive'.
    Perhaps that's what I mean about an open mind? No preconceptions.
    kibosh and lexus300 like this.
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

  11. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Science doesn't tell anything, it finds out in a way that (at least in theory) is transparent to anyone. For every scientist trying to prove something is true, there is another trying to prove it not true. So the strength of Science is that you don't need to believe it "just because it says", you can find out for yourself.

    Yes, I listen to my inner being but what can it tell me about anything other than myself? If I were to have an experience (such as some claim, eg "Damascus moment") which suggested being the "voice of God" how could I tell exactly what the experience was?

    Some people are very frightened by this way of thinking and many organised religions (remembering that there are around 30,000 variants of Christianity alone) prey on this.
    kibosh and lexus300 like this.
  12. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I am a lapsed Catholic . Indoctrinated at a very early age @ Primary, then convent grammar school and then Catholic college ( now University ) . I look back at it all and think how ridiculous it all was / is. I would describe myself as a Humanist now. I have fond memories of singing hymns @ school and attending Mass with my Dad ( Latin ) but as for the rest .... makes no sense to me
  13. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I too was brought up a Roman Catholic and I still attend mass.

    For me, going to mass means being closer to God when I receive holy communion. AS for the rest, over the years I have jettisoned most of it. I do not believe that the only way to God is through the teachings of the church, the teachings which are, for the most part, designed by the clergy for the protection of the clergy. I had high hopes of the present Pope but unless and until he preaches that EVERY abuser must face the law of the land, I will not take too much note of him. It does happen in the UK but not in other countries.

    At my church there is the most fantastic congregation and I really miss interacting with them if I cannot get to church. It's like having a kind of top up of spiritual warmth. (Good grief that sounds odd!! :D )

    I've been called a pick-n-mix Catholic but I'm fine with my beliefs.
  14. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Science comes to me mainly as a 'transient proposition' waiting for its next generation or replacement.
    Even so called concrete theories will perhaps in time be altered.
    The strength of science for me is the degree to which it can withstand close scrutiny and its weakness is commercial interest.
  15. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I believe that in your heart you would know.
  16. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I tend to agree with this, there are sheep and there are shepherds willing to herd them.
  17. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    A moral code of conduct for this existence is the beginning but not the whole IMO.

    BTW., I bet he more than rolls his eyes;)
  18. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    The thing that makes least sense to me is the shear hypocrisy of 'some' of the people in the church including its leaders although Pope Francis comes over as an exception IMO.
    Laphroig likes this.
  19. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    For me the mass and communion have become a construct to justify the church. Jesus did not go to mass and communion is supposed to be the breaking of bread and drinking wine in his remembrance, do we need a church with all its ridiculous wealth and pomp to do that?
    Shedman likes this.
  20. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    As a very liberal non-conformist it's interesting hearing from Catholics (lapsed or pick'n'mix or whatever), because I've never experienced that degree of church authority in any area of my life or faith.

    I guess that was partly what was behind the Reformation - a move away from church authority back to its origins - but maybe the focus shifted too much to the authority of Scripture, which is where the fundamentalist sector of Christianity gets stuck.

    For me - and for most 'liberal' Christians - it's a mix of Scripture - tradition - experience - reason. And it's a constant sifting and filtering through that 4-way prism to try and discern God's voice & guidance in today's world.

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