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How did you decide which religion to follow?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 26, 2008

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Photo of Kevin Montgomery

“I have many beliefs from a number of different religions, many of which are Christian. I just try to learn as much as I can about other religions and cultures and try to determine the truth for myself.”

Photo of Anne Winter

“From the way I was raised and from my parents.”

Photo of Frisco Morse

“From my mother, who was an atheist and raised me to figure things out for myself. I’ve attended many services of different faiths, but to this day I remain an atheist.”

Photo of Dave Brittelli

“I guess by searching for the truth. You have to question everything, and by doing so I found many flaws in organized religion. So I’ve decided to have no religion at all.”

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Comments

cds 6 years ago

ms_canada (Anonymous) says: FYI - most sensible "christists" don't hate aethists or muslims or wiccans, for that matter.__Thats the thing, the sensible christians ones may count for the majority, but the other 20% are the loud vocal ones that push the sensible ones to believe what the 20% want, and the 90% of the sensible ones are too sheepish to disagree with the loud 20% who use fear tactics instead of facts to get what they want.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

cds: "Thats the thing, the sensible christians ones may count for the majority, but the other 20% are the loud vocal ones that push the sensible ones to believe what the 20% want, and the 90% of the sensible ones are too sheepish to disagree with the loud 20% who use fear tactics instead of facts to get what they want."Looks like the Christians are giving 110%!

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JJE007 6 years ago

It was a piece of cake!I chose them ALL!Of course, I found that wouldn't work.It would require suicide just a tiny bit too healthy for that.So...I had to just brace up and go the agnostic route.It's a tough life. I don't believe...it's worth it!~)

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gccs14r 6 years ago

The burden of proof is on the believers. It's not possible, nor is it necessary, to prove a negative. A believer might as well be arguing for the existence of faeries, leprechauns, or The Great Pumpkin. In the absence of empirical evidence, I'll not be joining in their fantasy.

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amart84 6 years ago

Like being an atheist will really have an effect on the way a physician performs his job. What an idiotic comment!

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Marion: "I drove to a crossroads under a full moon, spun an empty beer bottle and when it came to rest, travelled down the road to which it pointed!"So, the bottle rolled into a ravine?,;-D

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trinity 6 years ago

from ljw posters who recommended the flying spaghetti monster. ;)first religion in my life i was born in to; the second, i chose myself; now, i just try to pray often and live according to basic principles. organized religion is absolutely fine for some folks, however i just can't seem to "belong". and i'm good with that.

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ms_canada 6 years ago

FYI - most sensible "christists" don't hate aethists or muslims or wiccans, for that matter. As an avowed christist, I have studies all three of this above beliefs as some on this board can atest to.Every single person on the face of this earth believes something. And non belief in a Diety is still a belief. I was raised in a Catholic household and at the age of 24 broke from that institution. Eventually I became a Christ believer. Okay, hold on now, how does that differ from Catholicism? I never found a personal relationshiip with Jesus Christ taught in th RC church. That is what I have now. A personal relationship with Christ as my Saviour. He is the One in whom I put my complete trust. Trust for what you may well ask. My entrance into eternal life with Him when I shake this mortal coil. Through Him I also have the guidance of His Holy Spirit. And that is all I need. End of sermon. You can let it in one ear and out the other if you so choose.

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BuffyloGal 6 years ago

"art was the first religion. no wars were fought over art that im aware of."Mom! He stole my crayon!

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George_Braziller 6 years ago

I never chose a religion. I was raised Methodist, but even as a child I remember thinking " Huh? none of this makes any sense." I went through the motions of going to Sunday school because I had to. After grade school I said "done" I don't believe in any of it. Now the only time I set foot into a church, temple, shrine, or mosque is to attend a wedding or funeral.

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nobody1793 6 years ago

I usually put the fate of my eternal soul on who leaves the best pamphlet on my doorknob...

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Follow?Wouldn't that be putting the cart before the horse?

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Quigly 6 years ago

Church of the Fonze. Cause it's cool

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labmonkey 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

"The theistic and atheistic conclusions are logically equivalent."Maybe so, in an abstract, theoretical sense.I do not believe anything that cannot be supported by data, observations, or scientific testing. There is absolutely no empirical data for the existence of a god in the sense that most world religions claim.Therefore, theists assume something for which there is no evidence and atheists tend to go with the facts. I will always go with the latter. The former is mere fairy-tale worship.

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Flap Doodle 6 years ago

The scary clown under the bed and the giant lizard in the closest RPS'd to see who would get me. The lizard won.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

yourbestwetdream: "The theistic and atheistic conclusions are logically equivalent."yourworstnightmare: "Maybe so, in an abstract, theoretical sense."No. In a very simple sense.Each draws an absolute conclusion from ( too ) limited information.And, regarding the religious perspective ( someone will have to help me out here ), a thoughtful man once observed: "Is the existence of God any less conceivable than your own existence?"If you reply with the mind-jerk reply, "Yes, it is less conceivable," then perhaps you simply have too limited a concept of God... and/or of yourself. As usual, I'm working from a weak trace.Seems it was one of those "A" guys... Augustine? Aquinas?( Geez... what has happened to Catholicism in modern times? )

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

yourworstnightmare: "... The only group hated more by christists than muslims is atheists. You are of course correct, however."The theistic and atheistic conclusions are logically equivalent.Go ask Agnostick.

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cds 6 years ago

Quigly (Anonymous) says: Church of the Fonze. Cause it's cool__I tried the Church of the Fonze, but Peter farted in my face and went aaayyyyyyee with his thumbs held high, then laughed, so I left. Now I'm agnostic

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yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Dr. Morse, you can expect your practice to suffer.The only group hated more by christists than muslims is atheists.You are of course correct, however.

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad,I come to my Christian faith, by the Bible. But also by philosophy, history, the natural world, and by personal experience or Christ working in and through my life. All of which point, correctly and consistent with, back to God's saving grace as revealed through the prophets, and Christ's life and redeeming sacrifice on the cross. God Bless you, brother.><>PS. You might not be old enought to be my Dad. Marion,Thank you for your answer.

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labmonkey 6 years ago

I do want my doctor to have a belief and feel accountable to a higher power. To me they are more likely to hold up their hypocratic oath than an atheist. Yes, I do believe that a doctor's personal beliefs effect their job. cds says: Thats the thing, the sensible christians ones may count for the majority, but the other 20% are the loud vocal ones that push the sensible ones to believe what the 20% want, and the 90% of the sensible ones are too sheepish to disagree with the loud 20% who use fear tactics instead of facts to get what they want.Good point TGR about the 110%. cds, it isnt that the majority is sheepish, it is just that other things preoccupy their lives besides religion and they really don't want every dicussion to turn into religion which is what happens when you talk to someone in the 20%. Even though most of my beliefs are just slightly right of center, I have been told that I will go to hell basically because I am not conservative enough or that my thinking is crazy because I am not far right enough. You basically just want to avoid conversations with these types of people.

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jonas 6 years ago

I went by the total circumference of the smile of the guy who was trying to convert me to their way of life, the biggest was the one I bought into. I'm a Zoroastrian now, that guy had some truly enormous incisors.

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Crossfire 6 years ago

Father son and the holy ghostThey're three guys that I like the mostEverybody say a prayer each dayThat oughta keep the devil away

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mr_economy 6 years ago

Labmonkey, what happens when someday your medical needs conflict with the religious 'beliefs' of your doctor? Will you feel safe in her/his hands knowing that 2000-year old dogma is outweighing scientific reality to your detriment?Religion should be completely divorced from medicine as far as the doctor/patient relationship is concerned.

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gccs14r 6 years ago

I want my physician to rely on his skill, not his deity, in performing his duties. The idea of a prayer circle before surgery scares me.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

acg: "Well I just looked at all of the religions and first I eliminated any of those that require a tithe. WTF is that about. Then I eliminated any that discriminated against a group of folks because they were different, then I got rid of any choices that preached fire and brimstone, then I exed off the list any that swore they were the only ones going to heaven and then I looked around and realized, there were none left. It was a pretty easy decision at that point."So... let me see if I've got this right...¢ you're cheap¢ you can't tell the difference between one thing and another¢ you probably won't be vacationing in Yellowstone¢ you wouldn't belong to any club which wouldn't have you as a member¢ and, so, you opted for "nothing."Ommmmmmmmmmmm!

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years ago

There are a lot of posts here. I'm saddened that so many (but not a lot) have suggested that they are Christian, but that no one has simply posted "Reading the Bible is how I chose my religion".Reading the Bible is how I chose my religion. I would be fiegning security if I were just following "my gut". Remember that insane chick you dated in college? Your gut told you to go with her. Remember those bug-eyed sunglasses you... are still wearing? Your "gut" told you that was the way to go. Rember disco? Remember voting for George Bush?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

To believe that one can exist outside the mythos is not to understand the mythos.

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Aisling 6 years ago

research, research, research. Oh and scrying!

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Marion: "(3) Since the Universe exists and I could not have created it, nor do I know anyone who could have done, something greater did."Creation fallacy.If the existence of the Universe requires a Creator, and, therefore, a Creator exists, then who created the Creator?

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Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Note to Mr. Boogyman, "eek!"

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Das_Ubermime: "Read again. 20% are not sensible. 90% of the sensible do not stand-up against the non-sensible. Thus, you have 20% non-sensible, 72% weak sensible, 8% strong sensible. Life makes so much more sense when you understand English: unless you live in Paraguay:",:-DMuch of the time, I live just vertical of Paraguay,so even there the words are faint aint int nt t t t . . .Thanks for help with that word problem, though... Ubermom. tang: "... so even there the words are faint aint...."Ubermom: "BTW, 'aint' ain't a word." Mommmmmmmmmmmm!

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Marion: "There is a big difference between accepting the notion that something greater than ourselves created all this and being part of an organised religion."People seem more preoccupied with defending or refuting the existence of God that the more pertinent questions of what God might be or might mean seem to go unaddressed. What is it exactly that you are talking about when you say "God?" Some major dude in the sky? or beyond the sky? or between the sky? Something so nebulous that it defies definition? Or simply "Good" with concentric "o"s? Does God exist or not? Gotta define your terms to even begin to approach that call.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

labmonkey: "I do want my doctor to have a belief and feel accountable to a higher power. To me they are more likely to hold up their hypocratic oath than an atheist."Keith: "Here's a newsflash for ya labmonkey, Hippocrates was a Pagan." Hey, Hippo had his higher power(s)..."I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath...."

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gobbluth 6 years ago

art was the first religion. no wars were fought over art that im aware of.

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Aiko 6 years ago

By letting the people around me at that time decide.

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous Isn't the full name of your group: tangential reasoners anonymous worldwide league?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

ChristmasCarol: "Whatever. ¢ Follow your heart. ¢I would hope it would be good....I think you can find knowledge and good in the teachings ofJesus and Buddha and Dr. Seuss as well as Aesop's Fables."and Antoine..."Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."So, I guess that means we'll all have to do a better job of reading between the lines.,;-)I know... what a flake.

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acg 6 years ago

Well I just looked at all of the religions and first I eliminated any of those that require a tithe. WTF is that about. Then I eliminated any that discriminated against a group of folks because they were different, then I got rid of any choices that preached fire and brimstone, then I exed off the list any that swore they were the only ones going to heaven and then I looked around and realized, there were none left. It was a pretty easy decision at that point.

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Keith 6 years ago

"labmonkey (Anonymous) says:I do want my doctor to have a belief and feel accountable to a higher power. To me they are more likely to hold up their hypocratic oath than an atheist."Here's a newsflash for ya labmonkey, Hippocrates was a Pagan.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

TRAWL?tangential_reasoners_anonymous, life_alternative, lawrence_annex

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

Marion,"There is a big difference between accepting the notion that something greater than ourselves created all this and being part of an organized religion."This was actually an interesting statement from you. Please explain. Specifically, do you believe in something greater than yourself? While you're at it some of your other posting seem to be at odds with each other. For instance you mentioned something a while back about churches doing good work. (In the context of tax exemptions.) Then there is your oft-repeated claim about Christians being warlike, and your advocacy of a first strike on Iran. Not that I have an argument with your stance on Iran. The possibility of Ammaabignutjob having nukes should give any rational person shivers, and I'm not talking about Chris Matthews shivers either. But I digress, what is your something greater, Marion? And you mention that something created this? What? Define the something.

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Victoria 6 years ago

I suggest the book, Many LIves, Many Masters. If you don't follow a religion, this book will show you how we are all connected to one another and to a higher power which you can call God or anything you want. Every religion has a belief in a higher power...we do share that much in common.Read the book with an open mind. It helps you discover what is truly important in life and those things which simply are distractions.

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

awkward. An acronym should roll off the tongue. Sort-of. Try tangential_reasoners_anonymous, lawrence_alternative, league_annexorGlobal Ophthalmologist Organization Fund, Balanced Association Limited.:-)

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

BuffyloGal, true...true...true...

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

I would suggest the gospel of John. The 3 sequels are great!It will tell you what is truely important in life."Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis is also a great primer in Christian thought and philosphy.

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Quigly 6 years ago

NO WAIT! I found the perfect religion. House of the Evil Monkey!, Yeah, what can go wrong! http://www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=ba0f0b29d20bc3300710d4510010c519

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Quigly (Anonymous) says: OOOOH!Family Guy Evolution removed from YouTube-extended version here...http://www.jibjab.com/view/117034[ click "View It" ]

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Quigly 6 years ago

Yeah ok so poster is already pretty stupid but this is so funny!!! http://www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=f0a0e3011201234b41bb870bd6d01734 and good one tr. Thats funny. Like this newspaper. It makes me life and feel better about myself.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Quigly: "Like this newspaper. It makes me life and feel better about myself."Been feeling a little "down under" lately?

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ReadingSports 6 years ago

Marion,Personally, I find it ironic, maybe even mildly hilarious that the only thing standing between you and "Hail to the Chief" being playing every time the Obama walks into a room are those Christian voters that you seem to loathe so much. Going back to your number 4) Do I know, or for that matter can I know what this "creator" thing is?Here's the problem that I have with your philosophy:So you're a theist? Some of us have earned your contempt and scorn for believing that we can know the creator, and that the creator has revealed himself to the world. You believe that the question can't be answered. Fine... Live with and accept the consequences of your choice. Don't mock others that come to different answers. Of course, to whom is Marion accountable? No greater moral authority than Marion. Warlike is okay, as long as Marion approves. Your answer on the creator isn't good enough for me. But I will live with and accept the consequences of my choice. As for your knowledge of the Bible and Christian theology... You're missing grace, mercy, and humility. As for the rest, Shakespeare had a quote about someone who liked to quote scripture to his own ends. And as I have pointed out to you before, I have read the Bible, several times.

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BuffyloGal 6 years ago

Distractions like a blog on a small town newspaper??

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