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Old September 20th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default What do you believe?

Recent events in my live, recent thinks I've read and learned, and recent threads here has me thinking more critically about just what my religious beliefs really are.

So in my next post I'll try to give a brief description of the current status of my beliefs.

Feel free to post yours, or comment on, insult, ridicule, or do whatever you feel the need to do towards mine.

And make sure you have your nomex undies on. Steveo and the like may stop by and give their opinion.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #2
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I was raised in the Lutheran Church, but have not attended regularly in a couple of decades.

I have been considering myself an "agnostic Christian", meaning that I believe that someone going by the name Jesus walked the earth about 2000 years ago and said and did some amazing things that got lots of people talking. But by the same token I also believe that Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha), Muhammad, and others did the same.

The more I learn the less convinced I am that the Bible is a true record of history, being that so much of the old testament doesn't jibe with the archaeological and geological evidence of the history of the world. When I come to the conclusion that much of the Bible is just myths, I start to wonder how much of the story of Jesus is true.

Lately I have been studying and practicing Zen meditation. Although it is not necessary to be Buddhist to practice Zen meditation, it does borrow many principles from Buddhism. The more I learn of Buddhism, the more I feel that it conforms more closely to my "world view".

Right now this is my favorite quote:

Quote:
Having faith is trusting this larger story of your life. Yours is a spiritual journey of epic proportions that heals suffering. And you donít need to have all the answers anymore. Life unfolds in its own mystery and the universe provides the answers you need when you need them.
Thought? Comments? Insults?
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Old September 20th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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I believe that I personally should do the right thing, not because I will be judged on my actions by some higher power when I die, but because that is what I feel is the right thing to do. that is just how I feel.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 12:39 AM   #4
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I was raised in a very strict Baptist church. That went until the youth pastor and I got in a fist fight. I then move to a less controlling Baptist church until I graduated High School. I then rebelled. Even through out that rebellion, I felt I've always had my "solid christian foundation" that was instilled in me as a child. As I've grown, matured, and have life experiences, I've found that when I want something it never works out. On the flip side, about the time that I quit trying to dictate how my life would be, and put my life more/less in the hands of God things have drastically improved. I've started attending a Covenant Evangelical Church. My personal experience is that when I ASK God for direction, instead of telling him what I'm doing, doors open. I truly believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the son of the Almighty God, and God gave us free will to choose to have a relationship with him, and for those that choose to believe in him, he works in their lives. This has given my a sense of peace an calm in my life.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 03:04 AM   #5
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When you die you take a dirt nap. When your loved ones die you will never see them again. Religion is a safety blanket for everybody to cuddle up with when things are going bad. It is also a way to keep people in line by hanging Hell over their heads. Everybody puts so much stock into an old book that has been translated how many times and has absolutely no facts to back it up. I just try to live life for what it is. I try to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I actually wish I believed because the safety blanket would be nice to curl up with when bad things happen but I don't and I don't think I ever will.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 06:04 AM   #6
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I look at things like this: (significantly over simplified)

Scientists believe we are all one huge statistical miracle. One of trillions of trillions of universes in the 'multi-verse' where everything 'just happened' according to scientific rules.



When I look at the math on a relatively layman's perspective my mind (and perhaps that's the weakness in me) simply refuses to believe those odds.

So, I seek, battle with myself over logic vs. feeling.

I was raised methodist. I attend a non-denominational Church that has done some amazing things in the community. Like Bruce, I believe that Jesus walked the earth. I battle and battle with myself over the logic vs. the faith of everything beyond that.

No, I don't believe that the earth is only 4,000-5,000 years old and that man walked with dinosaurs back then. However, if I believe in an almighty God, then that possibility would certainly be plausible, so it's back to the logic/science vs. faith/belief again.

We all have our own "ID" as some psychoanalysts like to call it, an "inner voice" where we think inside our head - that leads me down the path of knowing that I have my own soul so to speak.

I am, as Bruce mentioned ok with the knowledge that I don't have to have all of the answers, but I do continue to study, and battle with myself. And like Monkey mentioned - coincidence or not, when I act selflessly and pray for acceptance of my lot in life, I find that doors do and have opened.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 06:58 AM   #7
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I have always thought church and church people were creepy mofo's.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 07:00 AM   #8
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I'm a Deist. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the information in the Bible does not add up. In my years of soul searching (no pun intended) I eventually developed the opinion that there is something about the Universe that seems alive, a life force so to speak. I choose to refer to this life force as God. I don't feel the God I believe in is as involved in our lives as the Christian God. I don't believe in Heaven or Hell and I don't think prayer is effective. I strongly believe in Evolution but I think the Big Bang theory is flawed especially the everything from nothing part.

I feel religion is a personal choice and I have no problem with any belief system a person has as long as they keep it to themselves and their beliefs are not the cause for pain, destruction, or death for other people (take a hint muslums). I will however call out somebody that is pushing their ideals on others and I will debate the shit out of Bible mis-truths and crontradictions.

That's an extreamly condensed version of what I believe, feel free to ignore it. Brewman, good luck on your introspective journey. It's ok to question religion and come to your own conclusions. Figure out something that works for you and be happy with it. If other people don't like it, too bad.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyeBread View Post
I look at things like this: (significantly over simplified)

Scientists believe we are all one huge statistical miracle. One of trillions of trillions of universes in the 'multi-verse' where everything 'just happened' according to scientific rules.



When I look at the math on a relatively layman's perspective my mind (and perhaps that's the weakness in me) simply refuses to believe those odds.

So, I seek, battle with myself over logic vs. feeling.

I was raised methodist. I attend a non-denominational Church that has done some amazing things in the community. Like Bruce, I believe that Jesus walked the earth. I battle and battle with myself over the logic vs. the faith of everything beyond that.

No, I don't believe that the earth is only 4,000-5,000 years old and that man walked with dinosaurs back then. However, if I believe in an almighty God, then that possibility would certainly be plausible, so it's back to the logic/science vs. faith/belief again.

We all have our own "ID" as some psychoanalysts like to call it, an "inner voice" where we think inside our head - that leads me down the path of knowing that I have my own soul so to speak.

I am, as Bruce mentioned ok with the knowledge that I don't have to have all of the answers, but I do continue to study, and battle with myself. And like Monkey mentioned - coincidence or not, when I act selflessly and pray for acceptance of my lot in life, I find that doors do and have opened.
I'm pretty close to this. Raised Methodist till about 15, then some time in a Baptist church due to a strong youth group, married in a Lutheran church and have attended a Catholic church on and off since we got married. I have come to believe that the Bible is not perfect because those who wrote in it were not literate people and by today's standards, quite naive about anything outside of their local 50 mile radius. So, when things happened that they couldn't explain intelligently, they did it the best they could. I also believe that all Christian faiths are striving for the same thing but have different twists on their rituals. I'm fine with that. And as time goes on and people strive to prove the bible wrong, it's interesting to see where findings in science seem to support the bible. For instance, there has just been a reef discovered in the Red Sea right in the vecinity of where Moses was said to have parted the sea. Coincidental?

Like Ryebread, I find it very difficult to believe that all this perfection around us just simply happened by luck. Although man has flaws, the rest of the world seems to work in such a perfect offsetting harmony. Things like gravity, the changing of the seasons, the pefect axis of the globe, the fact that the sun is the perfect distance from earth to give us the perfect temperature all tell me that we aren't here by luck.

Is there a heaven and earth? I'd like to think so.
Has every prayer been answered? No, but like others, I have found that prayer helps and doors have been opened that I didn't have prior to prayer. Maybe prayer is a form of meditation that allows us a clear head to manage our lives better. I don't know.

But I know I'm better off believing in God, trusting in God and living my life as God wishes then to try to charge through life on my own.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyeBread View Post
I look at things like this: (significantly over simplified)

Scientists believe we are all one huge statistical miracle. One of trillions of trillions of universes in the 'multi-verse' where everything 'just happened' according to scientific rules.



When I look at the math on a relatively layman's perspective my mind (and perhaps that's the weakness in me) simply refuses to believe those odds.

So, I seek, battle with myself over logic vs. feeling.

I was raised methodist. I attend a non-denominational Church that has done some amazing things in the community. Like Bruce, I believe that Jesus walked the earth. I battle and battle with myself over the logic vs. the faith of everything beyond that.

No, I don't believe that the earth is only 4,000-5,000 years old and that man walked with dinosaurs back then. However, if I believe in an almighty God, then that possibility would certainly be plausible, so it's back to the logic/science vs. faith/belief again.

We all have our own "ID" as some psychoanalysts like to call it, an "inner voice" where we think inside our head - that leads me down the path of knowing that I have my own soul so to speak.

I am, as Bruce mentioned ok with the knowledge that I don't have to have all of the answers, but I do continue to study, and battle with myself. And like Monkey mentioned - coincidence or not, when I act selflessly and pray for acceptance of my lot in life, I find that doors do and have opened.
I bet we go to the same church.

Faith is believing with out proof. If you were able to prove or dis-prove the bible / Jesus / God then there would be no such thing as faith. Religion is and will always be a challenge. Besides that, God has control beyond what any human can comprehend. If he wants to put physical "proof" on earth that challenges the bible, then he can / will. Everything is put on this earth for a bigger reason than anyone can comprehend. Quit trying.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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Let me start by stating that I was raised in the United Church of Christ, explored other "worldly religions" in my late teens, became a scientist (biochemist - critical thinking and skeptical of EVERYTHING), and in recent years have been born again as a Christian. What has led to this recent revelation?

1) There is no way that the earth was created through some random mixing of chemicals that just happened to create ideal conditions for the present state of the world including the diverse species and technology. That's like saying that the websters unabridged dictionary could have been created by some random explosion at a printing factory.

2) The human body is a miracle. Two half-cells come together, divide, differentiate into different cell types that then communicate with each other and organize to form distinct tissues, which work together to form organs, each with a specific function that work together to keep the whole body functioning perfectly and one of those organs is the brain which just so happens to allow us not only to function, but to communicate with each other and organize so that we can develop cultures and civilizations and beliefs about an omnipresent God. All this comes from one sperm cell haploid and one egg cell haploid merging... As a biochemist I can tell you that the most brilliant scientists spend a lifetime of research just understanding one system within one cell type within one organ. The whole system working in harmony is a incomprehensible miracle. There is no way it is the result of some random mixture of gases millions of years ago.

3) Why Christianity is different than other monotheistic religions? As I pointed out, I researched many world religions early in life. I thought, as Bruce does, 'what if Jesus was just a man, a profit, a messanger of the one God like Mohamad's claim, etc.'? Well then what is the purpose of life and what is our fate? Let's assume that all monotheistic religions are really praying to the same God (see next bullet for why this is not true), and that this God is perfect - without flaw, without sin. Let's also be clear, every man and woman on earth today has sinned at least once. Who of you have not lied, or stolen, or not forgiven someone, or have had corrupt sexual thoughts? We all have. This makes us unperfect. That gap between God's perfection and our imperfections is a valley between our harmonization with God. Only if we can free ourselves from this sin can we be fully united with God. And we are incapable of freeing ourselves from our previous sin, no matter how many good deeds we do, we are incapable of washing away prior sin. Yet God came to earth as Jesus, and sacrificed himself on the cross to bury the sin from all those that except him into their hearts.

4) Why is the Christian God not the same as the Hebrew God or Allah, etc? What do these religions have in common? Only that they pray to one god instead of multiple gods. How do they differ? The characteristics of the one god are distinctly different. The Hebrew's say that God teaches "an eye for an eye" and that only the Jews are the chosen people of God. Islam teaches 'death to all the non-innocents (including Americans apparently). Yet the Christian God teaches forgiveness to all. To accept everyone into your fold regardless of thier sin, regardless of upbringing. Love thy neighbor (which refers to non-christians) as well as your brothers (other christians). And that we are judged not by our actions (again, everyone has sin) but rather by our acceptance of God / Jesus into our hearts.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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I believe I am a product of evolution. I do not believe in souls or spirits. I am made from the same material as our universe. I am just borrowing this matter to form a body. Some day I will die and I will be cremated. My matter will return to the universe. Nothing is ever lost, it only changes. I believe there are higher powers in the universe but I do not worship them.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc78cj7 View Post
Let me start by stating that I was raised in the United Church of Christ, explored other "worldly religions" in my late teens, became a scientist (biochemist - critical thinking and skeptical of EVERYTHING), and in recent years have been born again as a Christian. What has led to this recent revelation?

1) There is no way that the earth was created through some random mixing of chemicals that just happened to create ideal conditions for the present state of the world including the diverse species and technology. That's like saying that the websters unabridged dictionary could have been created by some random explosion at a printing factory.

2) The human body is a miracle. Two half-cells come together, divide, differentiate into different cell types that then communicate with each other and organize to form distinct tissues, which work together to form organs, each with a specific function that work together to keep the whole body functioning perfectly and one of those organs is the brain which just so happens to allow us not only to function, but to communicate with each other and organize so that we can develop cultures and civilizations and beliefs about an omnipresent God. All this comes from one sperm cell haploid and one egg cell haploid merging... As a biochemist I can tell you that the most brilliant scientists spend a lifetime of research just understanding one system within one cell type within one organ. The whole system working in harmony is a incomprehensible miracle. There is no way it is the result of some random mixture of gases millions of years ago.

3) Why Christianity is different than other monotheistic religions? As I pointed out, I researched many world religions early in life. I thought, as Bruce does, 'what if Jesus was just a man, a profit, a messanger of the one God like Mohamad's claim, etc.'? Well then what is the purpose of life and what is our fate? Let's assume that all monotheistic religions are really praying to the same God (see next bullet for why this is not true), and that this God is perfect - without flaw, without sin. Let's also be clear, every man and woman on earth today has sinned at least once. Who of you have not lied, or stolen, or not forgiven someone, or have had corrupt sexual thoughts? We all have. This makes us unperfect. That gap between God's perfection and our imperfections is a valley between our harmonization with God. Only if we can free ourselves from this sin can we be fully united with God. And we are incapable of freeing ourselves from our previous sin, no matter how many good deeds we do, we are incapable of washing away prior sin. Yet God came to earth as Jesus, and sacrificed himself on the cross to bury the sin from all those that except him into their hearts.

4) Why is the Christian God not the same as the Hebrew God or Allah, etc? What do these religions have in common? Only that they pray to one god instead of multiple gods. How do they differ? The characteristics of the one god are distinctly different. The Hebrew's say that God teaches "an eye for an eye" and that only the Jews are the chosen people of God. Islam teaches 'death to all the non-innocents (including Americans apparently). Yet the Christian God teaches forgiveness to all. To accept everyone into your fold regardless of thier sin, regardless of upbringing. Love thy neighbor (which refers to non-christians) as well as your brothers (other christians). And that we are judged not by our actions (again, everyone has sin) but rather by our acceptance of God / Jesus into our hearts.
I believe this too. Faith is believing without proof. Even the deciples had doubts. Jesus said that (something like)you that have seen me have doubts how much greater is it those that havent seen me.. You have faith that there will be enough air for your next breath. People have had this faith since before it could be proven
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Old September 21st, 2012, 09:24 AM   #14
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I was raised in a Wesleyan Church. I stopped attending after high school to explore a few different options which ended up concreting my faith even more than attending church! I recently started attending a non-denominational church and rededicated my life to Christ. I found a lot of the same things that amc78cj7 said similar to what I have found in the past five years or so in exploring different options and studying many other religions. God gave us free will for a reason. My free will lead me astray only to learn and discover so much more about the God of the universe. Good luck with your pondering!
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Old September 21st, 2012, 09:30 AM   #15
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I believe that there might be a god who wants good things for all of us. I don't believe that any current religion has all of the answers. I think if there is a god and you live a good life (which by the benefits you immediately also) and have a good heart then if there is a god he will look kindly on your soul when you pass. I am not really sure that I believe in ghosts but from my own experiences I think there could be.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:03 AM   #16
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I believe that there might be a god who wants good things for all of us. I don't believe that any current religion has all of the answers. I think if there is a god and you live a good life (which by the benefits you immediately also) and have a good heart then if there is a god he will look kindly on your soul when you pass. I am not really sure that I believe in ghosts but from my own experiences I think there could be.
Hey Kerryann. You believe then that you are possibly judged based on your actions and that may determine your outcome when you pass? If so, is it the sum of your actions? The mean of your actions? The final actions you make rather than the earlier life decisions? Do some weigh heavier than others? And how do we know what rules to play by? For instance, let's look at abortion. The doctor performing an abortion may be viewed by some as "good" by saving the mother, but viewed by others as "bad" by killing the unborn child. How would we know how this decision by the doctor may impact his/her fate?

Just curious on your thoughts.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:25 AM   #17
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I'm open to hear most ideas, but I tend to have more faith in scientific theories than religious theories.

I think people want to believe they're more important than they are, or their life holds more significance than it does (on a universal scale). Many religions support those ideas. I think we probably aren't very important to the universe and our time on Earth isn't even close to a blip on the radar. I think we live, die, then turn into fertilizer to support the consumption of other life forms.

Or...almost every ancestral culture seems to have a belief in gods or spirits. Maybe we were created by a God and we knew all the details about it, and over time those stories morphed into many variations as generations passed and people migrated apart. Maybe we were created by a God and we've just lost the true history through poor record keeping.

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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:29 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=brewmenn;3165332]I was raised in the Lutheran Church, but have not attended regularly in a couple of decades.

I have been considering myself an "agnostic Christian", meaning that I believe that someone going by the name Jesus walked the earth about 2000 years ago and said and did some amazing things that got lots of people talking. But by the same token I also believe that Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha), Muhammad, and others did the same.

The more I learn the less convinced I am that the Bible is a true record of history, being that so much of the old testament doesn't jibe with the archaeological and geological evidence of the history of the world. When I come to the conclusion that much of the Bible is just myths, I start to wonder how much of the story of Jesus is true.

Lately I have been studying and practicing Zen meditation. Although it is not necessary to be Buddhist to practice Zen meditation, it does borrow many principles from Buddhism. The more I learn of Buddhism, the more I feel that it conforms more closely to my "world view".[QUOTE]

this blew my mind, like I couldnt have wrote it better, it discribes me exactly, well all execpt the last part about zen meditation. Really werid, maybe i will look into that.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:44 AM   #19
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I've actually been dealing with this for years and what I have came up with is that I went to a Christian church, I heard and read quite a lot and I never was convinced, do I have faith that there is something else somewhere, maybe, but there are so many things that seem to play such a larger role, like karma, that bitch not only has slapped people that have done me wrong, but its kicked me in the sack more than its fair share.

Now, one thing I could never grasp is déjà vu (not the strip club), I personally believe in some sort of recarnation, almost as your life repeats.

My personal belief is that you reincarnate hundreds of times until you take the perfect path, and when it's done, it's done, you find some sort of perfect peace...take it for what it's worth, just my 2cents.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:59 AM   #20
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My personal belief is that you reincarnate hundreds of times until you take the perfect path, and when it's done, it's done, you find some sort of perfect peace...take it for what it's worth, just my 2cents.
Who is the judge of what is the "perfect path" if there is no greater cosmic force (God)? See my post about the abortion doctor above. Who would decide if the decision to conduct an abortion is "good" for the mother or "bad" killing of an unborn child?
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