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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 3 

Religion by Sunniva on 2 August 2007 3:32pm
I'm a Christian, what are you, and why?
Re: Religion by Spursfan on 2 August 2007 4:27pm
Although born Church of England (i.e. christian) I do not belong to or believe in any religion. Unless you count football.

If any, I am quite interested in the Buddhist religion, and, apart from the fact that I lurve crispy bacon butties, could be swayed into Jainism. We visited several Jain temples in India (I almost swatted an annoying fly in one but luckily I remembered where I was!!) and I found their way of life fascinating. Some even wear masks to prevent breathing in, and therefore accidentally killing, micro organisms.

The lay Jains' life code

Jain scripture expects Lay Jains to follow 12 vows:

5 Anuvratas - the Lesser or Limited Vows:
Non-violence - Ahimsa:
Jains must do their best to avoid any intentional hurt to living things. In daily life harm can be minimized by filtering drinking water, not eating at night, and so on. Intentional hurt includes cases of avoidable negligence.
Jains must be vegetarians.
ains may use violence in self-defence.
If a Jain's work unavoidably causes harm (e.g. farming) they should try to minimize the harm and maintain complete detachment.
Truthfulness - Satya:
Jains must always be truthful.
Jains must always conduct business honestly.
Dishonesty by not doing something is as bad as being actively dishonest.
Non-stealing - Achaurya or Asteya
Jains must not steal
Jains must not cheat
Jains must not avoid paying tax
Chastity - Bramacharya
Jains must have sex only with the person they are married to.
Jains must avoid sexual indulgence even with that person.
Jains must give up sex, if possible, after the marriage has yielded a son.
Non-possession - Aparigraha
Jains must only possess what they need.
Jains must use surplus possessions to benefit others.
Jains must live simply.
Jains must not use too many resources.
3 Gunavratas - the Three Subsidiary Vows:
Limited area of activity - Dik vrata
By this vow a lay Jain restricts the extent to which they travel, so as to reduce the area in which they may do harm.
Limited use of resources - Bhoga-Upbhoga vrata
Jains should limit their use of things like food and clothing according to what they need.
Avoidance of pointless sins - Anartha-danda vrata
Thinking or speaking badly of other people.
Being inconsiderate (and not just to people).
Being self-indulgent.
Reading, watching or listening to immoral material.
4 Siksavratas - the Vows of Instruction or Discipline:
Meditation vow - Samayik vrata
Jains should carry out sitting meditation in one place for 48 minutes each day.
Limited duration of activity vow - Desavakasika
Jains should restrict certain activities to specific times.
Limited ascetic's life vow - Pausadha vrata
Jains should regularly adopt the life of a monk for a day.
Limited charity vow -Siksavratas
Jains should give to monks, nuns and the poor.

Re: Religion by tucsonmike on 2 August 2007 5:33pm
Jains have too many rules, LOL!.

Sunniva, may I ask a curiosity question before I move on? Most Northern Europeans are not religious any longer. Do other kids give you a tough time about that?

I am Jewish. I am not religious in an organized sense. I think I see my Jewishness as one part of my ethnicity, but being a Tucsonan and a Southwesterner are more important. I am not bright enough to understand deep theological concepts.

I was reading Elaine's book, The Scotch-Irish in America, and I think I am more like them. I like the ability to read and interpret for myself. Sort of like Brian crying out "You must all work it out for yourselves!"

I have become wary of organized religion. People sometimes forget it was invented by human beings, therefore it has both the good and the bad.

So Sunniva, I have a moral code which is a rough sense of honor and justice but do not believe in organized faith.

Re: Religion by Sunniva on 2 August 2007 5:44pm
Hehe, ok, I understand. Well, it is of course difficult to fit in sometimes.. But people respect me for my beliefs. My whole family are Christians, so I've grown up in a sort of community of Christians (I've got three siblings, and a mother and father). Other teenagers are very surprised sometimes when I tell them what I believe in. Like I'm against sex before marriage, and so is my boyfriend. Most of my friends respect that, but lots of them don't understand why I think like that. But I think it's very important to start in the right end when it comes to relationships like that. So, true Christianity is not just following the rules, but also finding out for yourself.
Re: Religion by geordiegirl on 2 August 2007 5:55pm
I respect anyone's religion (or lack of it, for that matter). Sunniva in particular, I hope it brings you strength, and happiness, (I suppose - are religions supposed to do that?) and I do admire your thinking it all out for yourself.
Me, I'm an atheist,with ethical and moral rather than spiritual values, but one extremely interested in religious iconography & the visiting of churches and other religious sites (sadly, most of these are locked to visitors in UK)
Re: Religion by canaveralgumby on 2 August 2007 8:55pm
I can't define it. I believe in a higher power. Sometimes I call it the Force. Seriously, I think that's a great word for belief in a higher power(s).

Because of our limited ability to conceive of the vastness and scope of things, I think we limit ourselves by ascribing a face/name/gender/quantity (one or many) to the powers out there. But maybe that's necessary and helpful for humans, I don't know. I just dread those people who turn their conceptions of God, the Force, or whatever into dogma and start fighting over it.

I'm confident in my belief that my deceased loved ones, human, canine and other, still look after me. Maybe they're in some new form, or maybe they're just pure energy. When I go where they went, I guess I'll find out.

BTW I was raised conservative (not reform, not Orthodox) Jewish. I still feel that is my ethnicity, or Tribe if you will!

Re: Religion by perfectbitch on 2 August 2007 9:06pm
I believe in the Big Bang, biochemical evolution, a collective unconcious and to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

For me, the issue of the existance of a biblical God was effectively decided when Darwin and Wallace published their theories back in the mid-1850's - not that I was around then of course : ).

However, there is more to this existance than we can ever know.

Moral issues are for the individual to determine themselves and religions can offer guidence. I respect the beliefs of others and hope that that respect is returned.

All the best to you Sunniva for having the strength to stand up for your beliefs and not just fall in with the crowd - rare in one so young.

Re: Religion by vlad all over on 2 August 2007 9:54pm
I'm fairly agnostic, at times I come perilously close to being atheist but I still have this crumb of faith left that some greater power exists and can explain everything. Maybe it's Jeremy Beadle.

Either way I think religion does as much harm as it does good and would probably be best practiced individually in homes.
Re: Religion by whataworld on 3 August 2007 1:19am
religion is something that in my opinion is indoctorinated into us at an early age starting with the Christmas Story,the Easter Feast and so on and obviously as we get older we tend to question the viability of it all,the existance of God,the Master Plan,does He exist or doesn't He?well on a recent visit to church the sermon relayed by the priest on this occassion made me smile with the simplicity of it all.In it he referred to the theory of a theologian of the middle-ages by the name of Pascall and it went like this.Pascall was asked by a member of a discussion group "Is there a heaven and a God" to which Pascall replied "i cannot answer that except to say that if you live a good life doing good and being charitable and when you die you find that there isn't a heaven and a God then at least you have lived a good life,on the other hand if you live a bad life and do no good and when you die you find that there is a heaven and a God,its too late!
there is a line in an Oasis song (of all places)that says "there are those that say there's no heaven,----go and tell that to the man that is living in hell"!a good point really,its so easy to be judgemental when you are living a comfortable life.Dont get me wrong i am not bible bashing by any means i just think that the question of religion is as individual as a fingerprint,not all those that are holy are good,just as all those who are not holy are bad.be true to yourself and to others and i dont think you can go far wrong
Re: Religion by tucsonmike on 3 August 2007 1:39am
I meant to state this earlier, but I too admire Sunnivas courage in her convictions.
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