Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) 3 months, 27 days ago

Poll: Do you actively participate in a religion? (723 votes)

Yes 15%
No 86%

Weird topic for a game site. But I'm writing an article in a paper about people in their late teens to late twenties about their relationship with religion.

There are a ton of statistics, but I wanted to do some of my own research. You know...journalism.

When I say "actively", that can be subjective. What I mean by that is that you subscribe to a religion, and you go to church on a regular basis or perform whatever duties your religion asks of you.

Please vote and comment below (or PM me if you aren't comfortable) with your age, gender, the state you live in, and what university you attend if you're a student. Also throw in your major if you can.

I suspect that a large portion of this country might say "I'm a Christian", but they never read their religious text, only go to church on Christmas, and not live by that doctrine. Or the person that had Jewish parents claim to be part of the Jewish "faith", but see Judaism as more of a race. That wouldn't count as a "yes" in my poll.

Simply asking if someone subscribes to a religion wouldn't provide the kind of information I'm seeking.

I'd also like to get an answer of why or why not. Be aware of the forum's rules and try not to be aggressive in answering that question.

#1 Posted by Nightriff (4915 posts) -

Yes, go to church every Sunday. 25, Male, Idaho, Accounting. Any questions?

#2 Posted by SingingMenstrual (327 posts) -

There's no such thing as 'participating' in religion in my book. I believe God exists, this belief makes me abide by rules of ethics and common sense, because I see how this belief brings my mother and brother happiness and warmth in their hearts.

But that's where religion ends, in my heart. If I wanna do good in the world, I do it because I wanna do it, not because of my religion.

#3 Posted by erhard (390 posts) -

I am actively indifferent to religion.

#4 Posted by forkboy (1117 posts) -

I do not actively participate in any religion, I am 29, male, living in Scotland. So there

#5 Posted by Aetheldod (3514 posts) -

No , 31 , male , Jalisco Mexico (sorry if this doesnt work for you me being a non US resident/citizen) . Audio Visual Media

Around 16-18 years of age I found out that I no longer held the same views as the religion I had (Catholic) and I hate being hypocrital , so if I no longer would be a good catholic then why hold the religion?

Also by this time I began reading up on stuff and just think that me holding up adapted religious beliefs of Jews was just alien to me , also began research about where my bloodline comes from (Altho I know it comes from Spain , but still Spain was a hotbed of multiple tribes so had to go deeper and the one I settled on is visigoth , their folk religion is long gone sadly).

Told my mother I stopped believing on religion a few years later (and assured her that my dad killing himself wasnt one of the reasosn) , she got sad but after I explained my reasons she understood.

#6 Edited by believer258 (11665 posts) -

I did at one time. I was a Christian - read my Bible, too! And I got my username from it. But as I grew, I got more and more distant and detached from it, and now I consider myself more of an agnostic. I think a lot of things about Christianity are interesting or fascinating, but the more I studied it, the more I felt like I was studying ancient mythology. That's mostly how it comes across to me these days, anyway.

EDIT: Oh! 22, male, and I live in North Carolina. I guess that was necessary?

EDIT 2: And I'm an English major. In a Catholic college. I started college when I was still reading my Bible and (mostly) attending church. Wrap your head around that one. I've changed a whole lot since I started college.

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#7 Edited by pyromagnestir (4249 posts) -

As a 27 year old dude from Massachusetts, no. No I do not. Oh, and computer science major. I'll leave university out of this if you don't mind.

Why not? Well...

I believe that organized religions aren't based off of anything other than wishful thinking and the best guesses mankind was able to make about how the world around them worked prior to the age where we had the tools to actually get some decent answers to questions we had.

Which doesn't necessarily mean I think there is no god, or godlike beings. I doubt there are, but I wouldn't say with any certainty that there aren't. And if it turns out there are, I think any existing religious interpretation of god or godlike beings is likely to be quite inaccurate.

But that heaven thing sounds pretty great, so I'll hope I'm wrong about that one.

#8 Posted by frustratedlnc (26 posts) -

Gaming for me is like a religion, and Haze is the shit.

#9 Posted by CornBREDX (4830 posts) -

I'm agnostic.

Some may say that means I'm a theological coward, but whatever. I was raised a non denominational christian and always taught to question things. Interestingly, despite being taught that, my parents don't really live by that as much as i do.

It may be possible there is a God, and I actually won't dispute that possibility much, but a lot of things I've seen suggest whether there is or not he isn't affecting anyones life. More so the idea of a God affects people more than anything. I also find it hard to say which God is God as there are several with moral values that align with my own. Some even intertwine in such a way with others that it makes it further complicated in what's real and what's not.

So, I trust in myself to get things done. No one helps me, not even a God that I can really tell. I live my life to do what's right and be a good a person. I treat everyone equally and keep an open mind.

I'm 32, M, and I currently live in TX. I'm originally from California. I'm a US army veteran currently doing Internet Tech Support. Maybe someday I'll make games- who knows.

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#10 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

I wasn't brought up with religion, so I don't participate now, I attend when my sister has her kids baptised and weddings/funerals, but I've never been for christmas/easter/etc. .

Sometime I wish I was, not that I would believe, but I think it would be nice to be part of a larger community for social/business reasons.

#11 Edited by rflx (573 posts) -

The wording of your post seem to suggest that your article is primarily about Americans. Is that so? If yes, you really have to take into consideration that half of this community is non-American, and a hefty part is European, whose population is massively more secular than the US. So this poll is pretty useless if that's the case.

But if I'm wrong, and your article is about everyone, not just US citizens, here you go:

31, male, Denmark, atheist (technically agnostic, but atheist is more accurate in my case).

Over here religion is pretty much a non-issue. We're not brought up with it. We're aware of it, it's taught in school, but as more of a history type thing. I actually don't even know what my parents' stance on religion is, as it was never discussed in my house. I suspect they're as indifferent to it as most others are.

I've been indifferent to it most of my life too, but as I went into my 20's I started thinking more about religion, and the impact it's had and still has on society and humanity. And I've disliked it ever since.

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#12 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@rflx said:

The wording of your post seem to suggest that your article is primarily about Americans. Is that so? If yes, you really have to take into consideration that half of this community is non-American, and a hefty part is European, whose population is massively more secular than the US. So this poll is pretty useless if that's the case.

But if I'm wrong, and your article is about everyone, not just US citizens, here you go:

31, male, Denmark, atheist.

Over here religion is pretty much a non-issue. We're not brought up with it. We're aware of it, it's taught in school, but as more of a history type thing. I actually don't even know what my parents' stance on religion is, as it was never discussed in my house. I suspect they're as indifferent to it as most others are.

I've been indifferent to it most of my life too, but as I went into my 20's I started thinking more about it, and the impact it's had and still has on society and humanity. And I've disliked it ever since.

It's really unlikely I'll use this poll for anything in the news. There's too much room for error. This is more for preliminary research,

#13 Edited by TheBluthCompany (367 posts) -

I believe in nothing. The way I look at the world is this:

If there is a God, He kinda sucks at his job. Wars, Genocide, Natural Disasters, Rape, Bigotry, etc. A God that allows that to happen doesn't deserve to be worshiped.

If there is not a God, then humanity is doing the best it can to improve. All those horrible things (outside of natural disasters) are slowly getting better. Don't forget, we evolved on a dangerous as hell planet and our aggression got us to this point. I may think humanity can do better, but I think this viewpoint is actually pretty positive. We're fucked up; We're working on it.

#14 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11486 posts) -

Yep. Still go to church on a regular basis n' stuff, which I imagine makes me a minority among the denizens of this corner of the internet. 21 years old, Male, from Idaho.

#15 Posted by s10129107 (1179 posts) -

Why is it that the video-game community is far less religious than the community at large. I'm an American and i know the GB community has a healthy European mix that skews the numbers, however, purely among Americans the gaming community seems far less devout than the broader community.

#16 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@s10129107 said:

Why is it that the video-game community is far less religious than the community at large. I'm an American and i know the GB community has a healthy European mix that skews the numbers, however, purely among Americans the gaming community seems far less devout than the broader community.

I don't have any statistics to support this, but I'm confident the gaming culture is very liberal. The active game community is mostly males in their early twenties. All research I've read is that the bulk of atheism and agnostic folks are in that age range as well.

Left leaning folks are considerably less likely to have faith in a deity. The reason for that is a much larger conversation but if you're curious there's a million things on the internet for you to consume on that subject.

#17 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4930 posts) -

I don't care for religion, I'm 25, male, living in Hungary and because I'm too lazy and don't like it when I'm told what I should and shouldn't do.

#18 Posted by notdavid (825 posts) -
#19 Posted by Hailinel (23928 posts) -

One of the best decisions of my life was giving up religion.

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#20 Posted by s10129107 (1179 posts) -

I'm 29, in NY and i've already finished a Mechanical Engineering degree. I'm an Atheist. My parents come from Muslim and Christian backgrounds but neither are religious. I would say my family is anomalous as far as Arabs go. That being said, while I've been exposed to many religions as a youth (growing up in NYC and having Islamic, Non-Believing and Christian relatives), I wasn't indoctrinated into any religion when I was young. As i grew older it all seemed rather silly to me. Anyway, i hope this helps your paper.

#21 Posted by CreepyUncleBrad (166 posts) -

Nope, 22, Male, Maine

#22 Posted by slyspider (1156 posts) -

No, Wish I had the time to go to church more, 20, Male, Texas, Pre-med

#23 Posted by Sergio (2053 posts) -

I grew up Catholic, but outside of first communion, I really wasn't a practicing Catholic. I'm agnostic now.

#24 Posted by Random45 (1055 posts) -

I don't because I'm an Atheist.

23 years old, male, Michigan.

#25 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

No. Unless my own non-normalized beliefs and rituals count as religion. I believe god is the sum of all things, living and otherwise, real and imaginary, right and wrong, past and present and future. I offer to my god 400-700 push-ups each week. Amongst other less taxing devotions. My god repays me with a measure of fitness and well-being. Suffering strain is the salt of life too. So post-work-out life is generally much appreciated, regardless of what it is. Thank god for giving tit for tat. In the undying words of the many faced god. Only death pays for life. Or something.

#26 Edited by Gantrathor (202 posts) -

Male, 21, Utah. I'm not part of a religion anymore. I was a Mormon when I was a child, and my parents were Mormons for most of their lives. But they left the church after realizing how unhappy they felt being a part of it. And so I didn't have to go anymore, and I've never looked back since. Most of my relatives are still Mormons though, which can lead to some awkward conversations.

As for what I believe now, and keep in mind that I'm only speaking for myself, there is no reason for me to dedicate my entire life to worshipping an entity or being that I haven't the foggiest idea of what he/she/it looks like, except for what's written in a really old book or text that, for all I know, could have been written by a psychotic mad man or a prankster.

I do not totally object to the idea of a god or gods. The universe is a pretty big place after all, and we know almost nothing about it in the grand scheme of things. But if they do exist, I don't think they will be the way we think of them now.

#27 Edited by Tom_omb (345 posts) -

Religion has never really been a part of my life directly. My father died when I was very young and I was raised by a single mother. The closest thing my Mother ever relayed to me spiritually is a vague idea that passed loved ones are somewhere watching from beyond. I don't take this belief literally, but has informed my thoughts on the topic of religion. As far as I know none of my Grandparents have been religious in any way.

I had friends growing up that did go to Church and say grace before eating a meal. At five years old I recall a friend, early on in our 10 year friendship, say I was going to hell for not attending Church. He was a bit of a bully and certainly wasn't a virtuous soul, so I was at least partially aware of hypocrisy in this case. Another religious friend would invite me to Church activities and I got a sense of the community around his faith.

The Simpsons, early on, was super influential to developing my world view and educating me on religion as well. If I do warship anything it's fiction and pop culture. In this way I can appreciate Christian mythology as stories that have had a massive influence historically on Western society.

I'm a 28 year old male from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I went to school for Classical Animation. I think I'd define myself as agnostic. If there's anything after death I don't think we can know it, but my gut says there's nothing. I can hope and imagine that there's something more.

#28 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

Male, 21, Utah. I'm not part of a religion anymore. I was a Mormon when I was a child, and my parents were Mormons for most of their lives. But then they left the church after realizing how unhappy they felt being a part of it. And so I didn't have to go anymore, and I've never looked back since. Most of my relatives are still Mormons though, which can lead to some awkward conversations.

As for what I believe now, and keep in mind that I'm only speaking for myself, there is no reason for me to dedicate my entire life to worshipping an entity or being that I haven't the foggiest idea of what he/she/it looks like, except for what's written in a really old book or text that, for all I know, could have been written by a psychotic mad man or a prankster.

I do not totally object to the idea of a god or gods. The universe is a pretty big place after all, and we know almost nothing about it in the grand scheme of things. But if they do exist, I don't think they will be the way we think of them now.

Is there any truth of the Mormon church being a little more intense about members leaving their church?

#29 Posted by Reisz (1461 posts) -

In the words of Jesus: "Try to be a good person, the rest will sort out itself."

#30 Posted by Toastburner_B (143 posts) -

I do. I live in Utah, am a 31 year old male, and studied Veterinary Technology.

The long and the short of it is that I've stuck with my religion because I believe following it helps me to be a better person and it gives me hope. That's what religion should be all about, really.

#31 Posted by Gantrathor (202 posts) -

@gantrathor said:

Male, 21, Utah. I'm not part of a religion anymore. I was a Mormon when I was a child, and my parents were Mormons for most of their lives. But then they left the church after realizing how unhappy they felt being a part of it. And so I didn't have to go anymore, and I've never looked back since. Most of my relatives are still Mormons though, which can lead to some awkward conversations.

As for what I believe now, and keep in mind that I'm only speaking for myself, there is no reason for me to dedicate my entire life to worshipping an entity or being that I haven't the foggiest idea of what he/she/it looks like, except for what's written in a really old book or text that, for all I know, could have been written by a psychotic mad man or a prankster.

I do not totally object to the idea of a god or gods. The universe is a pretty big place after all, and we know almost nothing about it in the grand scheme of things. But if they do exist, I don't think they will be the way we think of them now.

Is there any truth of the Mormon church being a little more intense about members leaving their church?

If you're talking about the actual process of leaving the church, I have no idea how it works. Like I said, I was was very young when we left. But I can tell you that we got a lot of nasty looks directed at us the first year or so after we left. There were also a lot of condescending comments and terrible rumors spread around by people we once considered friends. That wasn't much fun. But they eventually left us alone. As for my relatives, they wouldn't speak to me or my parents for a while, but they eventually got over it too. Now we get along quite well for the most part, which is very fortunate.

#32 Posted by Roboculus92 (483 posts) -

Male, 21, Computer Science major from California and I am agnostic. Didn't really grow up with religion. Have some relatives who are Christian and I went to church with them a couple of times but I didn't really feel like I belonged there. My exposure to various religious texts has led me to believe that there can be interesting moral lessons to be learned from reading them but I don't think you should consider them to be taken as factual things that actually happened. However, I'm not going to tell anyone they are wrong for believing in a religion because it's not like I know any better.

I've been reading some stuff by the Dalai Lama for an elective class I'm taking and he makes a clear distinction between spirituality (stuff concerned with the human spirit like compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance) and religion (believing there is a god and a heaven/hell exists kind of stuff). You don't have to be religious to develop these various qualities or virtues; it's just that religion often helps people do that since that's generally something that will happen anyway as a result of genuine religious endeavor. I may not be religious but I can acknowledge that as a possible benefit.

#33 Edited by afabs515 (1012 posts) -

No, and I cannot believe that people still do. I'm a 21 year old male and am completely against religion in general. Good luck with your article. I'd be interested in reading it when you write it.

#34 Posted by Falx (346 posts) -

Age: 22
Male
England

I attended University of Hull for a masters in chemistry with nanotechnology. I just don't believe in any of them at all. I don't think there's anything that makes one religion more true than any other of them, might as well worship Thor and Odin or the greek or roman gods. I was brought up in Church of England 'til I was 13 and said that I didn't want to go any more, my mum is a priest now (she was ordained when I was 16).

#35 Edited by believer258 (11665 posts) -

@s10129107 said:

Why is it that the video-game community is far less religious than the community at large. I'm an American and i know the GB community has a healthy European mix that skews the numbers, however, purely among Americans the gaming community seems far less devout than the broader community.

I don't have any statistics to support this, but I'm confident the gaming culture is very liberal. The active game community is mostly males in their early twenties. All research I've read is that the bulk of atheism and agnostic folks are in that age range as well.

Left leaning folks are considerably less likely to have faith in a deity. The reason for that is a much larger conversation but if you're curious there's a million things on the internet for you to consume on that subject.

Can I take a more cynical stab at it? People who stick to ancient tradition (i.e. the religious) and people greatly interested in radically new art forms (i.e. people with an interest in games) rarely mix together.

Playing video games on into your adult years has become a lot more acceptable over the past few years, but even now there are plenty of people - especially traditionally-minded people - who don't think very highly of video games. Sticking around a pretty traditional community that you grew up with doesn't sound likely when they don't really approve of one of your favorite pastimes.

Again, that particular mindset is melting away, but it still exists.

It's also worth mentioning that video games are quite often violent, and religious people are more likely to raise their moral eyebrows at that, too.

It's not that video games and religion can't mix, or that religious people can't also be people who play video games, it's just that the two groups don't exactly encourage participation in the other. Each one is usually independent of the other.

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#36 Edited by JadeGL (757 posts) -

No. 31, female, Northeast United States.

I used to in high school. I would go to Mass every Sunday at 10:00 am and on special days as well. I enjoyed the experience and ritual of Mass, but I wasn't so much a hardcore believer or anything. In fact, I would say that I was, and still am, pretty much an atheist. Not militant, just in my heart I kind of feel it and know it's my truth. But I still loved gong to church and I still miss the experience. I think I liked the community aspect of it, and I also liked the historical significance of the rituals and how they've been done in almost the same ways for hundreds of years. That is comforting to me in some way.

#37 Posted by Ben_H (3312 posts) -

Nope. We've never done anything religious other than use Christmas and Easter as an excuse to eat way too much food. I only ever go to churches for funerals, weddings, and flea markets.

All of the non-city-living people in my dad's side of the family are hardcore Christians (they all live in the Bible-Belty area in the south of the province and are all farmers or have jobs associated with farming) so it can get kinda awkward at times when we go to family things because they're all really close and don't really know us well.

Everyone but my grandma on my mom's side of the family actively makes fun of religion so we fit in perfectly there.

22. Western Canada (specific enough for my tastes), male, CS major at the local university.

#38 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@epicsteve said:

@gantrathor said:

Male, 21, Utah. I'm not part of a religion anymore. I was a Mormon when I was a child, and my parents were Mormons for most of their lives. But then they left the church after realizing how unhappy they felt being a part of it. And so I didn't have to go anymore, and I've never looked back since. Most of my relatives are still Mormons though, which can lead to some awkward conversations.

As for what I believe now, and keep in mind that I'm only speaking for myself, there is no reason for me to dedicate my entire life to worshipping an entity or being that I haven't the foggiest idea of what he/she/it looks like, except for what's written in a really old book or text that, for all I know, could have been written by a psychotic mad man or a prankster.

I do not totally object to the idea of a god or gods. The universe is a pretty big place after all, and we know almost nothing about it in the grand scheme of things. But if they do exist, I don't think they will be the way we think of them now.

Is there any truth of the Mormon church being a little more intense about members leaving their church?

If you're talking about the actual process of leaving the church, I have no idea how it works. Like I said, I was was very young when we left. But I can tell you that we got a lot of nasty looks directed at us the first year or so after we left. There were also a lot of condescending comments and terrible rumors spread around by people we once considered friends. That wasn't much fun. But they eventually left us alone. As for my relatives, they wouldn't speak to me or my parents for a while, but they eventually got over it too. Now we get along quite well for the most part, which is very fortunate.

That's kinda what I was getting at. Mormonism has a reputation for the things you just described, more so than other religions. But I haven't ever actually spoken to an ex-Mormon myself. So I don't know if that reaction is typical.

#39 Edited by Chaser324 (6331 posts) -

@frustratedlnc said:

Gaming for me is like a religion, and Haze is the shit.

For real though, I've been an atheist for quite a while, so I don't do anything religious.

28, FL, BS and MS in Computer Engineering from Clemson University

I grew up right in the heart of the bible belt, lived in several places in SC, NC, and GA. There was no shortage of religion, and the vast majority of people did attend church on a regular basis.

While it was basically an assumption in my home that we were all Christians, we actually didn't do the whole church thing all that much. To a large degree, I think that my parents fell out of the habit because I was ill when I was young and couldn't go. In my late teens, I transitioned into being pretty skeptical of all things religion and eventually took to considering myself an atheist.

It's probably worth noting that I've never openly acknowledged my atheism to anyone in my family aside from my brother. I'm legitimately fearful of being disowned, maybe not by all of my relatives, but I know that many would think much less of me. It pains me to even think about how disappointed my grandmother would be if she ever knew my thoughts on Christianity.

Moderator Online
#40 Edited by JasonR86 (9609 posts) -

I used to go to a Protestant Christian church but it was mostly because I wanted to hang out with friends there. As friends started to leave I kept going and focused more on the message and got more and more frustrated. The last straw was when the pastor suggested that people rely on prayer to deal with mental health issues rather than relying on help from the health system.

I still consider myself Christian but have issues with religion and some parts of the Bible. I see issues with how gender is treated, sexuality, freedom of choice. A lot of Protestant teachings I've heard go against many things I say in therapy. Instead of a person being self-reliant some teachings would have people believe they are completely unable to do so under extraordinary stress. I can't settle this teaching of dependence as being healthy. Then there are other issues but I don't care to go into them in this way.

Basically, I think there's a lot of good that can come from spirituality and religion. But it has been hard for me to find a group where I live that shares my belief system.

Edit:

27, male, Washington,United States, University of Washington, Mental Health Therapist.

#41 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5255 posts) -

I'm Male,19 ,Christian and live in the U.S. Georgia

I grew up in a southern christian household, went to a baptist private school and used to go to church every week. I've pretty much been a Christian all my life. While I'd never put it like this, one might even say I was indoctrinated from a young age. With that said, once I got out of high school I pretty much stopped going to church, become much more politically liberal and even questioned my faith. A pretty normal thing for someone in my position. I think the latter's only natural when you've been exposed to something your whole life and finally get a chance to break away from it.

I ultimately stuck with my faith, and while I don't regularly go to church anymore, still skew a liberal perspective and sure as heck am not a Creationist (I believe in science and evolution!) I am a Christian. I don't disparage others who decide against it either. That's a choice we all have to make and I totally respect anyone's decision against it in the matter.

#42 Posted by Brodehouse (9606 posts) -

I am actively irreligious. 28, male, Canada.

In my teens I was quite religious, but I wasn't sure what brand or denomination I was. I was raised to be pluralistic and open-minded, so I essentially took all religions to be true, or true enough. I figured the truth was somewhere in the middle, for some reason. Appeal to moderation? It wasn't until I got older that I developed better logical tools, more critical thinking, more respect for facts and the way we go about verifying them and suddenly I saw religion for what it was; Bronze Age attempts to explain things they could not in order to gain loyalty and power.

I think being religious is actively harmful, because it teaches you things about the world that are not expressly true, and all your ethics derive from what you believe about the world. Don't believe me? If you truly, truly believe you will survive your own death, that some element of your personhood, some aspect of your conscious personality will continue on after your physical body moves no more; your ethics will be demonstrably different than someone who does not. If you truly, truly believe the world is merely 6000 years old and only exists until God returns to take everyone away, your opinions on environmentalism are going to be entirely different than someone with a scientific view on biology or ecology.

#43 Edited by Tearhead (2155 posts) -

Not currently, but I'm not opposed to being a part of one later down the line.

#44 Posted by T_wester (105 posts) -

Not religious, 25 male from Denmark studying agricultural and environmental science.

I have never really gone to church other than funerals, christening, confirmation and marriages. I have read both the Bible, the Quran some Buddhist and Hindu texts, not seeking some spiritualistic salvation. But as a way to gain some general cultural knowledge and better understanding of history.

#45 Edited by ajamafalous (11862 posts) -

Atheist
23
Male
Texas
The University of Texas at Austin
Computer Engineering

#46 Posted by JJOR64 (18911 posts) -

I grew up as a Catholic and went to Church on Sundays and Sunday school. When I grew up my parents cared less and less. Now (23) I consider myself to not have any Religious beliefs.

Can I believe in the Video Game Religion now?

#47 Posted by j0lter (225 posts) -

I'm an Athiest that doesn't really care. I live in the now, man. And by the now I mean playing video games. Right now.

#48 Edited by Gantrathor (202 posts) -

@epicsteve said:

@gantrathor said:
@epicsteve said:

@gantrathor said:

Male, 21, Utah. I'm not part of a religion anymore. I was a Mormon when I was a child, and my parents were Mormons for most of their lives. But then they left the church after realizing how unhappy they felt being a part of it. And so I didn't have to go anymore, and I've never looked back since. Most of my relatives are still Mormons though, which can lead to some awkward conversations.

As for what I believe now, and keep in mind that I'm only speaking for myself, there is no reason for me to dedicate my entire life to worshipping an entity or being that I haven't the foggiest idea of what he/she/it looks like, except for what's written in a really old book or text that, for all I know, could have been written by a psychotic mad man or a prankster.

I do not totally object to the idea of a god or gods. The universe is a pretty big place after all, and we know almost nothing about it in the grand scheme of things. But if they do exist, I don't think they will be the way we think of them now.

Is there any truth of the Mormon church being a little more intense about members leaving their church?

If you're talking about the actual process of leaving the church, I have no idea how it works. Like I said, I was was very young when we left. But I can tell you that we got a lot of nasty looks directed at us the first year or so after we left. There were also a lot of condescending comments and terrible rumors spread around by people we once considered friends. That wasn't much fun. But they eventually left us alone. As for my relatives, they wouldn't speak to me or my parents for a while, but they eventually got over it too. Now we get along quite well for the most part, which is very fortunate.

That's kinda what I was getting at. Mormonism has a reputation for the things you just described, more so than other religions. But I haven't ever actually spoken to an ex-Mormon myself. So I don't know if that reaction is typical.

I can't say that every Mormon community is like that, because I really don't know and I don't want to generalize. But the reaction I received after leaving the church was definitely very intense and hostile, as I wrote above. And every ex-Mormon I've spoken to had a similar experience.

#49 Edited by troll93 (386 posts) -

I suppose atheist would best define me, 23, male, Queensland, Australia (didn't answer the actual poll as I wasn't sure if you wanted foreigners) The Queensland University of Technology, Civil Engineering.

I was raised in my early life in a mixture of a catholic for my family (well mum was) and traditional Australian aboriginal stories/religion (the dreamtime, rainbow serpent all that) from the rest of the town. I grew up in a small aboriginal town to explain that a bit more. I was then moved to the big city where I went to a Lutheran school, and I more or less became a Lutheran while retaining some of the aboriginal religion. Around year 11 I started to put what I was being told in the religion part against what I knew from the science and history part of school and the two did not line up close enough for me to continue believing in the "personnel good" of most modern religions.

My current beliefs is that there is no God that cares about us, nor is even aware of us. There is a God in that God is a collection of natural laws that describe the universe and everything in it. As far as how I treat other, that is where my "religion" still comes in. I accept the dreamtime stories from my youth as simple morality tales to live my life by, and I have added the christian stories, that are worth it, to that list.

#50 Posted by Quarters (1633 posts) -

Yes, I'm a very active Christian(Southern Baptist if you want really specific, though that's not the most important detail by a longshot), though I kind of cringe when I think of it as just being "religious". It's a part of my being, my character, not just some activity that I take part in. Yes, I go to church, read my Bible, pray, all that jazz...but the relationship that's at the heart of it is the most important, and how it influences my day to day life.

Sorry, bit of a tangent. More to your question, I'm 26, male, live in Arkansas, currently am working full time, but seeking to go to college(late bloomer) for psychology/criminolgy dual major. Still in the application process. Trying to get into College of the Ozarks.