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Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age?

 
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Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 1:44:13 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
Well people have commented that they quite like the religious discussion threads and being one of the more religious types on here I thought maybe I should start one.

It is well reported that the attendance in Churches, temples and religious gatherings is dwindling, take for example these various news reports. (Even these are 20 years old)

"A nationwide survey found that 75 per cent of those who live in municipal areas [of Thailand] do not go to Buddhist temples to listen to sermons at all, while the number in the countryside who visit the temples is steadily declining to about fifty per cent."Bangkok Post, September 7, 1987, page 4.
 
"The magic has gone out of Taoism in the land [China] where it was founded some two millennia ago. . . . Deprived of the magical devices by which they and their predecessors used to gain large followings, members of the priesthood find themselves without successors, facing the virtual extinction of Taoism as an organized faith on the mainland."The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, September 12, 1982, page 36-A.
 
"Japan . . . has one of the world's largest concentrations of foreign missionaries, nearly 5,200, yet . . . less than 1% of the population is Christian. . . . A Franciscan priest working here since the 1950s . . . believes that 'the day of the foreign missionary in Japan is finished.'"The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 1986, page 1.
 
In England during the past three decades, "nearly 2,000 of the 16,000 Anglican churches have been closed because of disuse. Attendance has fallen to among the lowest of avowedly Christian countries. . . . 'It is not now the case that England is a Christian country,' [the Bishop of Durham] said."The New York Times, May 11, 1987, page A4.
 
"After hours of heated debate, [Greece's] Parliament approved legislation today, enabling the Socialist Government to take over huge estates held by the Greek Orthodox Church . . . Moreover, the law gives nonclerics control of church councils and committees responsible for the administration of prized church investments including hotels, marble quarries and office blocks."The New York Times, April 4, 1987, page 3.
 
So that said do you feel that Religion has a place in modern society and what role do you think it should play?
 
Interestly Jesus Christ foretold that in the "last days" that the numbers following religiom would dwindle and this was backed up by the apostle Paul.
 
Matt 24:11.12  "And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off."
 
2Tim 3:1-5 "But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away"


Why do you think that is? Does religion truly matter in our day and age? What are your beliefs and how closely do they affect your daily life?

The floors open. Please keep it cordial.



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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 1:46:54 PM   
Timon


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If you use religion to give you spiritual peace and guide your life so you treat people with respect, go for it.

If you use religion to forcefully change people's freedoms, opinions and such, no.

All comes down to the individual.

Religion has its place - in places of worship - leave it out of schools (except religious studies!) and politics.

< Message edited by Timon -- 29/2/2008 1:47:09 PM >


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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 1:59:01 PM   
Woger


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The last dfays of what did Jesus refer to and what will happen in these last days?

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:09:57 PM   
Peppermint


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This isn't what you were asking shool and apologies if this question is too personal, but is there any aspect of your faith that you struggle with?

For me it's forgiveness and I tend to hold grudges sometimes, depending on who it is that's hurt me and what they've done.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:10:11 PM   
Tech_Noir

 

Posts: 20199
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One thing that troubles me about most religious is their notion of "the end of the world". Any disaster (9/11, Tsumani, etc.) and religious folk immedietely take it as a sign that the world is coming an end.

I think Dawkins said it in The God Delusion that this idea is especially troubling because people of faith assume it's God's Will and so there's no point doing anything about it - let the world crash and burn, let people die, God will save "us" even if He murders all the others.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:15:10 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Woger

The last dfays of what did Jesus refer to and what will happen in these last days?


These were the last days before God has decided enough is enough and steps in and puts the world to rights, also the time when Christ is ruling in Heaven ready to act in Gods behalf which is during the last days. Interestingly immediately before that day of action (Armageddon), towards the end of the last days, the bible talks of a period called the "Great Tribulation". Jehovahs Witnesses believe that Religion will actually be banned at the outset of the "Great Tribulation".

So if/when religion gets banned then watch out because of whats coming next.

Just read that back. Its hard to describe in a few short sentences.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:16:35 PM   
dracovir


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From: Wolverhampton, England
I think that, in recent years, as the West has become more about multi-culturalism and the previous boundaries between creed and nationalities have crumbled, we are approaching a point where religion is losing sway.  People are no longer the sheep they were, commanded by the Church in Medieval Europe for instance - in place we have Democracy and the like.  However, there is still that element of some areas of the world clinging to their beliefs with devotion that can be dangerous, such as the state of Religion-led Middle-eastern countries.

Howver, it should also be noted that hard-core Christianity has been on the increase in America for some time now - and if anything, it is gaining momentum over there.  Maybe this is the build-up to the End, and it will be East vs West all along, or maybe it's the last throes of Humanity's dependence on faith?  What do you lot think?


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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:18:22 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2455
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tech_Noir

One thing that troubles me about most religious is their notion of "the end of the world". Any disaster (9/11, Tsumani, etc.) and religious folk immedietely take it as a sign that the world is coming an end.

I think Dawkins said it in The God Delusion that this idea is especially troubling because people of faith assume it's God's Will and so there's no point doing anything about it - let the world crash and burn, let people die, God will save "us" even if He murders all the others.


Some may think that and unfortuntely it tends to be those that shoot their mouths off but I don't think most people who have faith think anything of the sort.  I can't say I've ever met anyone who has that opinion in fact I would say 95% of the people I know who have some kind of faith see it as their responsibility to do something about it.

For me faith absolutely has a place in todays World. It's not for everyone which is fine but it's essential for some. I think it will continue for as long as we do in some form or another and it will continue to change and adapt as we as a society do but as long as at it's core is the message of peace, love and understanding then I think it has great benefit.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:22:44 PM   
Tech_Noir

 

Posts: 20199
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quote:

ORIGINAL: dracovir

Maybe this is the build-up to the End, and it will be East vs West all along,






"Is it East versus West, or man against man! - In the Burning Heart..."

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Post #: 9
RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:22:57 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Peppermint

This isn't what you were asking shool and apologies if this question is too personal, but is there any aspect of your faith that you struggle with?

For me it's forgiveness and I tend to hold grudges sometimes, depending on who it is that's hurt me and what they've done.


Hi Pep, no worries.

Yeah there are various aspects. We are all imperfect and its a day by day thing.

I struggle with not wanting to Swear which I have many urges to. (I obviously watch too many movies with swearing in). Also fighting the urge to flirt overlymuch. I am sure there are other things.

I think struggling to forgive is a pretty common one, its not I've necessairly noticed in myself as I am a pretty laid back guy.

The Bible says that even the apostles and disciples struggled with things,. Its when you stop trying to fight them that you are running into trouble.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:29:35 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: dracovir

Howver, it should also be noted that hard-core Christianity has been on the increase in America for some time now - and if anything, it is gaining momentum over there.  Maybe this is the build-up to the End, and it will be East vs West all along, or maybe it's the last throes of Humanity's dependence on faith?  What do you lot think?



Thats not strictly true there is a hard core group of Christians in America but their attendance figures arent actually what they say they are apparently. See below quote

"Is there a religious revival in North America? In 2005, Newsweek magazine reported on the popularity of "hollering, swooning, foot-stomping services," as well as other religious practices, but pointed out: "Whatever is going on here, it's not an explosion of people going to church." The fastest-growing category in surveys that ask people to give their religious affiliation is "None." Certain congregations are growing only because others are in decline. People are said to be abandoning "in droves" traditional religions with their ceremonies, organ music, and robed clergy."

I am pleased to say however that in 2007 JW's experienced an increase of 3% worldwide and a 3.1% increase in the UK. We are growing year on year and there are nearly 7 million witnesses worldwide now.



< Message edited by shool -- 29/2/2008 2:39:07 PM >


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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:31:24 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2455
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Peppermint

This isn't what you were asking shool and apologies if this question is too personal, but is there any aspect of your faith that you struggle with?

For me it's forgiveness and I tend to hold grudges sometimes, depending on who it is that's hurt me and what they've done.


I would say that's probably pretty common. I know I certainly struggle with it. There's was the story of the woman vicar not so long ago as well who quit her parish because she couldn't forgive the 7/7 bombers that killed her daughter. It's blimin hard to forgive people.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:33:18 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

If you use religion to give you spiritual peace and guide your life so you treat people with respect, go for it.

If you use religion to forcefully change people's freedoms, opinions and such, no.

All comes down to the individual.

Religion has its place - in places of worship - leave it out of schools (except religious studies!) and politics.


I agree with you Timon, there is too much Religion meddling in worlds affairs. The 2 IMO should never mix.

Religion has been behind or supportive of most wars through history. The strange thing is that the Bible, or the religious beliefs they are following are staunchly against violence and War.

If they practiced what they preached then they wouldnt have caused the problems they have?

Do people think thats a factor? That religion has behind alot of suffering and wars?

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:34:10 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
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From: the dark side of the sun
If you've been completely brainwashed since childhood then I can understand someone being religious. If you have been allowed a bit of freedom to properly analyse things and still believe in god then you are a tool.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:34:51 PM   
Donnie Murdo


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From: Edinburgh
Shool!  What have you done!?



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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:37:31 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Donnie Murdo

Shool!  What have you done!?




Well it is supposed to be a debate. I did plan a lively discussion.

"I love it when a plan comes together."



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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:40:21 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1513
Joined: 24/4/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: shool


I am pleased to say however that in 2007 JW's experienced an increase of 3% worldwide and a 3.1% increase in the UK. We are growing year on year and there are nearly 7 million witnesses worldwide now.





Why should it matter how many people there are that believe a certain thing or follow a certain faith, though? Surely it's what you believe in yourself that counts?

This is one of my major problems with religion - I'm fine with people deciding to live their own lives in a certain way, but why should someone else do so? For example, why is it blasphemous to create an image of Muhammed (or name a teddy bear that!) if the person doing it is a non-Muslim?

I don't believe in God, or that Jesus was 'the son of God', or that Mary was a virgin, I don't believe the Bible is a source of truth. Why should my life be affected (and it surely is) by people who do believe in these things?  

I guess my point is that the answer to 'does religion have a place in this day and age?' is yes, by default. As long as there are religious people then it will have a place in their lives. But should it have a public place? Or a legal place? I think not.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:40:41 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Fluke Skywalker

If you've been completely brainwashed since childhood then I can understand someone being religious. If you have been allowed a bit of freedom to properly analyse things and still believe in god then you are a tool.


Do you think thats a major cause of religious decline? Scientific advancement?

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:42:05 PM   
Peppermint


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From: Sussex
Can we please have no more instances of people calling others tools? this has been a polite debate so far and I don't see why it should degenerate into childish name calling

Thanks.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:45:21 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3541
Joined: 15/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: shool
Do you think thats a major cause of religious decline? Scientific advancement?


If it comes down to it, I think Freud delivered more of a body blow to religion than Darwin. Once we started studying the mind, consciousness, personality and the causes of our 'sins' and failings, it became a lot harder to argue that people are just "evil" or that "the devil made me do it" or whatever. Strangely enough, empathy damaged a belief system that's supposed to be all about love (but, sadly, isn't all about that at all).

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:45:25 PM   
Donnie Murdo


Posts: 1199
Joined: 14/8/2006
From: Edinburgh
My two cents -

As long as religion is a private matter, then I don't really care what someone believes.  I just want it to stay out of public life. 

In a nutshell, my Granny toddling off to church on a Sunday = fine.  The Taliban = bad.  An elderly man dying of cancer having happy thoughts about heaven = fine.  Nutters in the US trying to get Harry Potter banned and setting fire to abortion clinics = bad.

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:47:30 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: kathryn2

quote:

ORIGINAL: shool


I am pleased to say however that in 2007 JW's experienced an increase of 3% worldwide and a 3.1% increase in the UK. We are growing year on year and there are nearly 7 million witnesses worldwide now.





Why should it matter how many people there are that believe a certain thing or follow a certain faith, though? Surely it's what you believe in yourself that counts?

This is one of my major problems with religion - I'm fine with people deciding to live their own lives in a certain way, but why should someone else do so? For example, why is it blasphemous to create an image of Muhammed (or name a teddy bear that!) if the person doing it is a non-Muslim?

I don't believe in God, or that Jesus was 'the son of God', or that Mary was a virgin, I don't believe the Bible is a source of truth. Why should my life be affected (and it surely is) by people who do believe in these things?  

I guess my point is that the answer to 'does religion have a place in this day and age?' is yes, by default. As long as there are religious people then it will have a place in their lives. But should it have a public place? Or a legal place? I think not.


Well I cant answer for other faiths, maybe Fanboyslayer or other religious followers can answer likewise.

But for us it is a good indication of how successful our preaching work is. In fact apart from Blood transfusions (Lets not start that again) it is what we are known for, our door to door ministry.

Also a good report is like the Proverbs says "As cold water upon a tired soul, so is a good report from a distant land," - Prov 25:25

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:49:01 PM   
Peppermint


Posts: 10421
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From: Sussex
Could you check your pm's in a minute shool?

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:49:19 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Donnie Murdo

My two cents -

As long as religion is a private matter, then I don't really care what someone believes.  I just want it to stay out of public life. 

In a nutshell, my Granny toddling off to church on a Sunday = fine.  The Taliban = bad.  An elderly man dying of cancer having happy thoughts about heaven = fine.  Nutters in the US trying to get Harry Potter banned and setting fire to abortion clinics = bad.


My word Donnie!! I think we agree on something.

Are these bad things do you think factors in people "cooling off" towards religion?

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RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:50:40 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2455
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Helen OHara

quote:

ORIGINAL: shool
Do you think thats a major cause of religious decline? Scientific advancement?


If it comes down to it, I think Freud delivered more of a body blow to religion than Darwin. Once we started studying the mind, consciousness, personality and the causes of our 'sins' and failings, it became a lot harder to argue that people are just "evil" or that "the devil made me do it" or whatever. Strangely enough, empathy damaged a belief system that's supposed to be all about love (but, sadly, isn't all about that at all).


I think Carl Jung had one or two things to say about Freuds view on God etc if I remember rightly.

But I do agree that the developements into understanding the mind certainly challenge religous or spiritual beliefs more so than other areas such as evolution.

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Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

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Post #: 25
RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:51:47 PM   
shool


Posts: 10113
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Helen OHara

quote:

ORIGINAL: shool
Do you think thats a major cause of religious decline? Scientific advancement?


If it comes down to it, I think Freud delivered more of a body blow to religion than Darwin. Once we started studying the mind, consciousness, personality and the causes of our 'sins' and failings, it became a lot harder to argue that people are just "evil" or that "the devil made me do it" or whatever. Strangely enough, empathy damaged a belief system that's supposed to be all about love (but, sadly, isn't all about that at all).


To be fair Helen, I dont think many teach that do they? That people are just bad or the Devil takes 100% responsibility for peoples actions?

If they do then I can see why that would be a factor.

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Post #: 26
RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 2:55:59 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1513
Joined: 24/4/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: shool

But for us it is a good indication of how successful our preaching work is.


But why is that important? Why do you have to convert people?

Why should 'preaching', in the sense of attempting to change people's minds, be a part of your religious 'work'?

I'm sure that none of us has missed that this ethos in your religion is what makes you post about it so much on these forums, including the multiple bible quotes....

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Post #: 27
RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 3:00:58 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2455
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: shool

quote:

ORIGINAL: kathryn2

quote:

ORIGINAL: shool


I am pleased to say however that in 2007 JW's experienced an increase of 3% worldwide and a 3.1% increase in the UK. We are growing year on year and there are nearly 7 million witnesses worldwide now.





Why should it matter how many people there are that believe a certain thing or follow a certain faith, though? Surely it's what you believe in yourself that counts?



Well I cant answer for other faiths, maybe Fanboyslayer or other religious followers can answer likewise.

But for us it is a good indication of how successful our preaching work is. In fact apart from Blood transfusions (Lets not start that again) it is what we are known for, our door to door ministry.



I couldn't tell you how many catholic there are in the world and I don't really care.  I'm not a recruiter so I just go about my day and practice my faith in the best way I can if people want to talk to me about it that's cool but it's a personal thing to me not a mission I'm on. I'm not interested in the my faith is better than your faith sillyness that goes on.

_____________________________

Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

(in reply to shool)
Post #: 28
RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 3:02:44 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
quote:

ORIGINAL: shool

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fluke Skywalker

If you've been completely brainwashed since childhood then I can understand someone being religious. If you have been allowed a bit of freedom to properly analyse things and still believe in god then you are a tool.


Do you think thats a major cause of religious decline? Scientific advancement?


Yeah it's probably contributed. My main problem with God is this whole free will argument.

Over the last 100 years or so man has devised methods to not only increase his ability to kill efficiently and in great numbers , but has inadvertently started a sequence of events that are damaging the world's climate and ecosystems.

God's 'free will' experiment has failed horribly - millions upon millions have died in the last century and global warming is set to take us into a new and rather too interesting chapter in the history of human suffering. 

I've said this before - if he exists there's actually a damn good argument for believing God is evil


(in reply to shool)
Post #: 29
RE: Religion - Does it have a place in this day and age? - 29/2/2008 3:04:25 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2455
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: kathryn2


But why is that important? Why do you have to convert people?

Why should 'preaching', in the sense of attempting to change people's minds, be a part of your religious 'work'?

I'm sure that none of us has missed that this ethos in your religion is what makes you post about it so much on these forums, including the multiple bible quotes....



Because every faith needs gimic to make them different and give them the impression the they're right over everyone else. We have transubstantiation, the JW's have getting on people nerves on a saturday morning, the C of E have..... hm what do they have actually I think I spot their problem

_____________________________

Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

(in reply to kathryn2)
Post #: 30
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