Talk about your faith/religion

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Accolade

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In light of the latest Danswers in which Tamoor Hussain talks a bit about his faith, let's talk about ours.I've always been curious about those on GB who are active in a faith or religion.

What is your faith? Does your faith influence the games you play?

Note: This is meant more to talk about your faith/religion and possibly receive, in turn, some respectful questions about it's affect on your life. This is not meant to be a forum for debate.

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bushpusherr

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Was raised Christian, but by the time I was old enough to actually seriously consider the proposition I realized I'd never really believed but just had never cared enough to investigate it. So, I've kind of always been an atheist, but it's been about 7 years now since I've firmly adopted the name.

I wouldn't say that it has affected the particular games I play, but it has definitely affected *how* i play certain games. When it comes to player "choice" in games like Skyrim or the Witcher, or any other game where the player can react to the religious groups and ideas of the world, I nearly always act in open rebellion to them. It's an interesting situation though, because in these worlds where magic and dragons and all other manner of fantasy exists, it is very plausible that these "Gods" or divine figures actually exist in that universe, so denying them in those situations isn't particularly consistent with what is observable in that world. All the same, I'd still rather indulge those rebellious impulses.

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mtfikhan

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I'm muslim, Sunni Wahabi if you wan't to get specific. Personally religion has not affected what media I consume, sometimes it affects how I consume it. Like when I was a kid, any kissing or make out scenes would be forwarded or i'd have my eyes closed. Now and days its more on how muslims are portrayed in games. Assassins Creed is the only game that comes to mind where the religion hasn't been portrayed as a corrupting influence or people who follow it are bad. Military games like CoD and Medal of Honor are just the worst when it comes to it.

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RonGalaxy

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#4  Edited By RonGalaxy

Was raised Roman Catholic, but then I got older and stopped going to church and now I don't have religion. My parents do, but it seems like the type you can only get from being indoctrinated at an early age; they are firm believers, yet non practising.

I recently decided I'm going to read the bible, not for any particular reason other than I want to know. I want to be be able to justify my non belief by actually understanding the source.

And I want to say that I'm not against religion like some folks are, and I honestly wish I could have it/feel it because it probably makes things easier for people, but its just never made any sense to me.

Side note: people who think the world's issues all derive from faith are morons.

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AlexW00d

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My parents never forced any religion on me as a child and allowed me to discover all that stuff by myself as I grew up, and as such I don't follow any religion nor do I believe in any form of God, and I live life by my own set of morals/rules/guidelines.

Whilst I don't necessarily care what other people believe, I will absolutely judge them, and to an extent be unable to trust them, if they put their faith into a mystical spirit instead of themselves and those around them, and other such ridiculous ideas, eg world being ~2000 years old, created in 7 days, Adam eve etcetera. Thankfully those kind of religious people seem to be getting fewer and fewer.

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deactivated-630479c20dfaa

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I don't believe nor disbelieve really. Present me with evidence and I will make up my mind, aaaaand since that will never happen, I remain agnostic I guess.

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bceagles128

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I was raised catholic but I'm agnostic. I have personally never seen anything in my life that tells me definitively whether God exists or not and I'm not too keen on just taking other people's word for it.

I find it really bizarre that so many people in this world seem to think they know for sure that they have it right. I mean, who the fuck really knows?

For that reason, I try not to judge other people for what they believe unless they think they have a right to impose their faith on others.

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Wuddel

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Born and raised (until I was 10) in communist East Germany. Religion was seen as opium for the masses. Easter and Christmas were still celebrated as mainly secular holidays.

My parents did not raise me in any religion. Both left the Lutheran church. My dad being a staunch atheist, my mom not sure. There is some spirituality and even believe in god in my life, but given my heritage and me having a PhD on biophysics, it is likely very different from that of religions or "spiritual" people. I am only replying to this thread as I listened to a podcast from Sam Harris today and thought about how the existence of god can or can not be reconciled with statistical thermodynamics.

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CaLe

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#9  Edited By CaLe

I believe the existence of our universe and everything in it is nothing but a computer simulation built as a grade school science project by a super-dimensional being. It got a C-. Believe not those heathens who would tell you it got a B+, they are nothing but trash.

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2HeadedNinja

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I consider myself a agnostic atheist. The whole concept of a personal god seems (with all due respect) utterly crazy to me. The view more moderate believers have about "some sort of force" is so deluded of anything of value that they might as well dump it.

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diz

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#11  Edited By diz

I'd call myself an agnostic atheist too, but identify as a secularist. I am interested in religion as a concept and have taken some time to try and understand what the basis of many religions are. I was raised as a CofE Christian (went to Sunday School as a young child) and was forced to attend (an on-site) church in my school years, although my parents didn't seem particularly religious themselves.

I have always wondered how people from different faiths can be so firm in their particular religious beliefs.

Ideas about "knowledge", "belief" and "faith" - and the difference between those things - are fascinating to me.

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ninjalegend

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These topics don't usually end well. The internet usually speaks in absolutes and that is not good for this discussion. I have had enough attacks on this topic that I keep far away from the subject. Good luck with it.

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Quarters

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#13  Edited By Quarters

Christian. In terms of denomination, I go more for Southern Baptist. It's a very important part of my life, if not the most important.

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fisk0

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#14  Edited By fisk0  Moderator
@cale said:

I believe the existence of our universe and everything in it is nothing but a computer simulation built as a grade school science project by a super-dimensional being. It got a C-. Believe not those heathens who would tell you it got a B+, they are nothing but trash.

Of course this thread isn't for debate, but I think that's a reasonable idea - there's a thought experiment called the "simulation hypothesis", which says that if we think it's feasible that with sufficiently advanced technology we could possibly create a simulation of the universe, then there's a high chance that has been done and that we ourselves are part of such a simulation (this would also allow for the existence of a god, as the operator of the simulation). Think if this universe simulation software was open sourced or at least made publicly available, and if at some point, home computers were powerful enough to run it - then it would be very possible that someone would set a universe up as a grade school project.

I'd probably call myself an apatheist, though I grew up in a largely protestant christian environment, with some hints of norse/asatru, but never believed any of it myself.

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WalterCrunkFite

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I am half Irish Catholic and half Jewish. So I feel guilty about pretty much everything. For this reason I used to binge-play games and then avoid them for weeks. Thankfully, I graduated to stuff that was actually bad for me.

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BrittonPeele

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#16  Edited By BrittonPeele

I'm Christian (lately I'm tempted to say "Christ-follower" instead of "Christian" due to some of the connotations the latter brings with it, but that's neither here nor there right now). A long while back I wrote a piece about how that affects (or doesn't affect) my gaming habits at The Escapist.

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GERALTITUDE

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I hope this thread lasts, it could be a great thing to know how diverse our community is. So long as people remember this is not a place for debate.

I'm spiritual, but only god(s) know which religion I belong to.

The sheer luck of what I and my family have lived through convinces me all is not so random on our Earth, but I've always found the rules of religion to fly in the face of what it means to me, at a sort of "soul level". My family is from the middle-east, with my mother's side being Christian Orthodox and my father's being Muslim. At some point in his life he became agnostic as we call it, but he prefers spiritual, and I suppose I do too.

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JasonR86

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#18  Edited By JasonR86

I grew up in a Protestant Christian home and much of my family is still very active in the church. I'm not sure myself. There are huge pros to the church's reach socially. As a mental health professional working with low income people I use food banks run by churches to help my clients eat, stay clothed and sheltered. I see the postitive influences the church can have on people socially. Having a ready-made community where friends and partners are easily accessible is hugely important to people. And for a lot of people the faith gives them hope in a world that can be very hard and unforgiving.

But I also take issue with the social reach of the church. I don't like how women are often regarded as less than and secondary. I don't like the level of obedience that seems so pivotal to religion. And the more I read from the Bible the more contradictions I find and the harder it is for me to believe what the faith tells us is absolute. There are too many discrepancies and too many beliefs I take issue with. And the beliefs I take issue with, such as how alternative lifestyles are regarded, seem to be the ones most heralded by outspoken church members. Even the most liberal of church goers seems to simply tolerate the existence of these different lifestyles rather than regard those people as equals.

But when I think about how complicated our universe is, our world and even how our bodies work and note how well everything works together I have a hard time not seeing it all as designed. But I also have to wonder if that is due to my upbringing. And when I think about how many terrible things I've heard and witnessed as a therapist I have to ask, as many others have in the past, how could a God allow such terrible things to happen (cliche, I know). How am I supposed to tell a trauma victim that God loves them?

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm real confused.

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Slay3r1583

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I am an atheist and basically always have been. My parents never tried to teach me about religion and I've never cared to explore it on my own.

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nickhead

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I went through the whole Roman Catholic thing my whole life until I left for college. Not once did I ever believe. Even as a child something just didn't seem right to me, meanwhile my mother continued to take me to church/classes etc. I can't blame her, that's how she was raised and believes how she should have raised her children. I feel I have a good moral compass (absolutely due to my parents, not God), and that's all that matters.

I'm very much the black sheep in my family when it comes to religion as I'm the only one who has no faith. I've yet to actually tell any of them this because, unfortunately, they'd never understand.

I truly do believe religion is a bad thing, but I also want everyone to think for themselves. If that's what someone chooses to think, that's totally cool. I'm not an atheist that will shout someone down, or try to reverse opinions.

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Aegon

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#21  Edited By Aegon

Jewish. I'm getting more and more strict with my religious practices. Family came from a place where religion was pretty much banned. When they were able to leave that place, they came to Israel where I was born. Moved to Canada at 6 and have had a stronger bond to my Judaism as time goes on.

I've heard lots of hurtful things from "friends" and classmates. Said at me and around me. Hateful things. I've learned that there is a long storied culture of hate towards Jews in a great number of nations. It's based on fear and misunderstanding. They think we scheme in our dark little corners about how to abuse them when the exact opposite has been happening for thousands of years. I view my culture as one of peace. Just because we like to stick close together, doesn't mean we're formulating a plan on how to make your life miserable. "Get over yourself. It's not always about you." is an appropriate response. We cherish life.

In any case. For the most part, I've gotten to the point where I can let that kind of stuff slide off of me without getting too emotional. I've had to. There's no other way to have peace of mind without saying "forget the ignorant haters".

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Canteu

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#22  Edited By Canteu

Staunch atheist. All forms of religion are wack.

Grew up going to a catholic public school but actively chose not to participate, because even as a child I knew it was all nonsense.

I look forward to the day religion is in some way abolished, or just generally socially unacceptable so we can progress as a species.

That being said people are free to think what they like, and I in no way attempt to tell others what to think.

Oh, forgot to mention. I have a pretty basic set of rules which I follow every day of my life and have done for almost 15 years. They're a pretty good set of rules to live by without causing trouble for anyone, and generally being an ok person, but they are not based from anything other than my own morality.

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deactivated-5c4a6d7d37a3f

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I was born into a Mormon raised household. My father abandoned the family religion and church they ran for reasons unknown to me. When I was born he returned but soon left again when I was very young. I retain almost no knowledge of those teachings and ideals.

In my mid teens my estranged sister returned from, somewhere, and pushed for me and her direct family to convert to a local christian church that saved her. I chose not to join her because I had no interest, was very busy with school, almost knew nothing about her and was unwilling to give my life over to what appeared to be a rather pushy group. Weeks later the church kicked my sister out and a zealous member burned her house down when he learned she had 4 children out of wedlock, with 4 seperate men, none of which she ever intended to marry and were not part of the same faith.

The church sought me out some time later and attempted convert me hearing I was faithless and related to the woman they had thrown out. I was forced to drive them away when they invaded my home and pushed me on a daily basis to join them.

Years passed and in my early adulthood I was forced to defend myself against a mad member of the faith that targeted me for persecussion and refusing to join them and redeem my family after my sisters removal. Violence ensued.

Since that time I have not been bothered by any religious matters nor do I follow any faith. instead I follow a strict rule set impossed on myself to make me a "Good Person" and have lived that way for about 10 years. Sorry for the long story. Religeon has no effect on the games I play. I play what I want.

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CaLe

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#24  Edited By CaLe

I think the most spiritual I've ever gotten was staring at a picture of a sunrise on Mars (below) for a solid minute, and the question: "Why something rather than nothing?" spontaneously came to mind with a deeper gravitas than I'd ever felt upon asking questions such as this. It felt deep, like real deep, and I felt the profundity of my having a consciousness along with the innate desire to ask such a question and be deeply curious as to the answer. Nothing seemed much more likely than something, and something at all seemed truly awesome, then the fact that something could be precisely what it is to make inquiry possible at all. Or maybe it could be no other way.

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It was a fleeting moment, but it felt good just to be in a state of mind where I wasn't taking something for nothing. (I don't do drugs)

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mtfikhan

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WE ARE ALL ALONE AND MEANINGLESS

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geirr

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No faith or religion in my case. Keeping it PLURrr.

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kadaju86

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Atheist. Always have been and always will be. The moment it got cemented in me though was back in elementary school where we have compulsory classes in religion (or 'Christianity and other views of life' as it would be loosely translated, probably a much better way to say that in English, but I'm too tired at the moment to think of one :P) and our teacher going "there is so much that our tiny minds can't comprehend". That moment felt like a proverbial facepalm moment for me, as if that is the attitude anyone would have to progress we wouldn't have gotten anywhere in the last couple of thousand years. So, yea, after that moment, which must have been when I was around 8 years old, I have been 100% atheist.

Of course, being forced to go to church through school for Easter and Christmas didn't exactly make me any more spiritual or whatever. Only way to get out of that was if you were part of some other religious belief, so a Moslem would have been able to skip out on those compulsory trips to church sermons. Which probably explains why I have a huge intolerance towards any kind of missioning.

So, yea, being forced to have all those religion classes through normal schooling here means that I have become a full fledged atheist.

As for games, unless the message of an entertainment product ends up being preachy about how good Jesus is or whatever I don't really care. That goes equal for movies, music, games and books.

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Hamst3r

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No religious faith here, but I got a heavy dose of Christianity and spirituality while growing-up. This lead to me taking an interest in theology in my teenage years. After digging deeper into all of it, I emerged Agnostic Atheist, as in I don't know if there's a higher power but I'm going to hedge my bets on there not being one.

This in no way affects what I play, but it does occasionally give me insight or perspective on some of the subjects brought up in the games I play.

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FrostyRyan

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Raised catholic, when I turned 14 and really started to think for myself, I realized I never cared or believed in god and definitely didn't care for religion .

It's not creationism I have a problem with, it's religion.

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betterley

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@sargus said:

I'm Christian (lately I'm tempted to say "Christ-follower" instead of "Christian" due to some of the connotations the latter brings with it, but that's neither here nor there right now). A long while back I wrote a piece about how that affects (or doesn't affect) my gaming habits at The Escapist.

Couldn't have said it better myself.
By the way, good article.

I'm a youth pastor, so yeah, I guess you'd call me a practicing christian. (even though I don't like the term either)

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Oscar__Explosion

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#31  Edited By Oscar__Explosion

Zero faith, grew up in a Catholic household with non practicing parents (well up until my mother decided to start going to church within the last few years). Had to do the whole first communion thing and man that was a total blast! (I'm being so sarcastic right now that I don't think I can roll my eyes any harder)

There are some basic takeaways that I've easily been able to accommodate in my life (some of the Ten Commandments such as "yo don't steal or murder") but that's more because I feel like I have good morals as oppose to needing to follow these specific rules because a man in the sky told me to.

I live my life with one rule that perfectly sums up how everyone should act towards each other in both life and the Giantbomb forums. Don't be a dick.

Oh and I play whatever I want.

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s10129107

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I'm an Arab American. I was raised without religion. I don't believe in it and i don't need it.

My lack of faith doesn't really affect much of my behavior. My choice of games has nothing to do with it at all.

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ZolRoyce

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I wouldn't say that it has affected the particular games I play, but it has definitely affected *how* i play certain games. When it comes to player "choice" in games like Skyrim or the Witcher, or any other game where the player can react to the religious groups and ideas of the world, I nearly always act in open rebellion to them. It's an interesting situation though, because in these worlds where magic and dragons and all other manner of fantasy exists, it is very plausible that these "Gods" or divine figures actually exist in that universe, so denying them in those situations isn't particularly consistent with what is observable in that world. All the same, I'd still rather indulge those rebellious impulses.

Huh, that sounds kind of like how I am as well, I'll play these games like Skyrim or Dragon Age, fight Dragons, use magic, see ghosts, witness in game events that literally go "Hey look, the religion we've made for this game world has actual events occur that back it up." But when it comes to dialogue choices I always have my character express disbelief or anger towards whatever fictional faith comes up.
I think it's because I like to role play as myself in games, like if I was suddenly plucked from this world and put into Dragon Age, how would I act? And as of right now I disbelieve every major religion, so I do in games as well.


Anyways, I wasn't brought up in any religion, but did grow up believing in god, not for any particular reason beyond "That's just sort of what you do." Where I lived, then at some point when I was young, maybe 9, my sister said some stuff that made me go "Oh... oh I don't believe any of this." And have been an atheist/agnostic ever since.

Though only in the sense that I believe every single religion thus far is completely made up, but there still could be something out there somewhere pulling some sort of cosmic strings, not even in a "I created all" way but just a "I can do some weird shit, wanna see?" And then it poops out a black hole kind of way.
I just think about the massive size of the universe and how it all started and just have to question how absurdly complex and insane it is that anything exists, the universe exists! That's nuts! How does it exist? What was there before it existed? What was there, before the thing that was there existed? Was there nothingness at some point? How could there just be nothing and then something? How far does the universe reach? Infinity? How can something literally last FOREVER, everything has a beginning and an end as far as we know it. Besides mobius strips, but you can just crumple up a mobius strip so hell they end too. So maybe the universe does have an end? Then what is beyond the wall of the end? And What's beyond that wall? AUHG. Basically the universe existing is very troubling, I could deal with nothing existing, that's the easy part, if nothing existed then... well nothing would have ever existed, we wouldn't be, the universe wouldn't be, it would just be blankness, but there IS something, and that something could have either been started from nothingness, or always been there? Or a myriad of other options I just can't fathom or possibly no human can yet fathom.

Shits freaky as fuck I'm gonna play some vid gamez.

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notnert427

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#34  Edited By notnert427

I was raised Christian (Baptist). I wouldn't call myself "practicing" anymore in the traditional sense, but I still have some faith. I often take issue with organized religion, especially when politicians try to use it as the basis for something or it's used for hate. I don't view the Bible as a book of facts or something that should be taken literally. It's a book of lessons, most of which are very good, with a scattered few which are really dated and a product of their time. I would say being raised Christian helped give me a solid foundation ethically and morally overall, and once I became old enough to figure out how seriously to take all of it, I retained what I considered to be worth retaining.

These days, I religiously find myself more karmically-inclined in my behavior. I still choose to believe people reap what they sow in the end, for better or worse. It's often frustrating and arguably a bit naive, but I'm a better person for it. I got used to doing the right thing, and more importantly, got used to handling both when it pays dividends and when it doesn't. I think being introspective about this provides some spiritual balance, or whatever you want to call it. I don't know that I'm the kind of person who can find peace in the idea that we're all just here by happenstance for what amounts to nothing more than a Darwinist grind. To me, that's an awfully cold perspective, for lack of a better word.

I don't claim to have answers, nor do I buy for a second that the militant atheists have it all figured out. I find zero common ground with them, and the same goes for the so-called "Christians" who spend their time persecuting others while trying to constantly put themselves on a pedestal. I find extremes of both sides ridiculous, and I think they're both missing the point entirely. Get over yourselves, and find something more productive than spending your time telling others how "wrong" you think they are. At minimum, one thing we all ought to be able to do is be decent to others whether they share our beliefs or not.

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SpoogeMcduck

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Raised Lutheran, had to do the whole confirmation thing and read the bible and the pastor would come over and talk about whatever chapter I read. Now I think its a collection of fan fiction and has a lot of stuff that makes no sense when you think about it. Fortunately Lutherans are more about pot lucks than they are about judging others so I never had to hear about how evil people were, plus the pastor was a ski bum guy who always sounded like he should be a surfer.

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Armoes

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Never really went to church. Went to a Catholic school for a while.

Religion always confused me - I eventually decided I didn't believe, but didn't have enough information to know. Years later, with the internet I was able to consume all sort of information and arguments and counter arguments. Now I call myself an atheist, if it comes up, which it rarely does.

Just because I don't believe in deities doesn't mean I care if someone else does.

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Fredchuckdave

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#37  Edited By Fredchuckdave

I'm a christian, first Assembly of God now Methodist. I don't really like religion that much but my belief is unshakable and I've attended like 2000 or so church services in my life. I'm also a pseudo Marxist, a militarist, and pro benevolent dictatorships. As far as philosophy goes I think Determinism is an utterly invincible argument and I believe Determinism is more compatible and makes more sense with God than without God. I find most atheists to be quite foolish but there's certainly plenty of philosophy professors and so on I've had that have had an interesting viewpoint and as long as you're constantly pondering the afterlife/the beginning (like say, Ridley Scott) I don't really have a problem with anyone's beliefs; if you're just someone who says "lol the universe is small enough for humans to comprehend it in its entirety" then I'm not going to think much of you.

Agnosticism is mostly a cop-out.

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FunkyHugo

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I'm an atheist now, but I'm Mexican which basically means I can't run away from Roman Catholicism. But I'm in perfectly good terms with it all. I think religion is a very beautiful, important, albeit problematic thing. My family is accepting about my choice, and in turn I'm constantly surrounded by Catholic imagery which is fine as I find much of it eerily wonderful.

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teaoverlord

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ain't got none

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deactivated-66361f5b4a584

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There is no god but Jeff Gerstmann and Dan Ryckert is his messenger.

To be serious I guess you could say I was raised Buddhist because my mum is and she's real religious. She never pushed me or anything and I still did R.E (Christian religious education) in primary school though I did say "oh I can't I'm Buddhist" when I didn't want to do it.

If you had asked me then and now what I know about either religion I would have no answer fo you so I guess you could say I'm an atheist but I don't wear a fedora. I also don't hate religion because who cares what other people do in their free time.

So I guess my answer is no.

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obcdexter

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ArbitraryWater

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#43  Edited By ArbitraryWater

I identify myself as a Christian and I still go to church almost every sunday. I imagine that makes me the weird one on this corner of the internet.

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KillEm_Dafoe

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I was raised Christian. As a child, I went to church with my parents quite often and participated in churchly activities. I guess I never took it super seriously, and it never affected what my parents let me play or watch even a little, but I was definitely a firm believer for a good while. As I got older I began to question more things about God, Christianity, and religion in general. It all started to seem so dubious. Sometime in high school, I just ruled the entire concept out as complete bullshit and it ceased to be a part of my life. My parents still believe, my dad more so than my mother, and I'll never understand why, but whatever. It doesn't bother me that much at this stage, although I'd say that my current views towards religion are more far more negative than what would be appropriate to share in this thread.

So I guess that's what happens when you introduce your child to George Carlin at the age of eight. Worked out for me just great!

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l4wd0g

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#45  Edited By l4wd0g
@betterley said:
@sargus said:

I'm Christian (lately I'm tempted to say "Christ-follower" instead of "Christian" due to some of the connotations the latter brings with it, but that's neither here nor there right now). A long while back I wrote a piece about how that affects (or doesn't affect) my gaming habits at The Escapist.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

By the way, good article.

I'm a youth pastor, so yeah, I guess you'd call me a practicing christian. (even though I don't like the term either)

I'm right there with you as well. I'm fairly left-wing and libertarian (not the political party, but opposite of authoritarian) and that affects how I read and understand the Bible.

It has affect how I think about games but in the "I should be doing good rather than spending money on myself" way. $60 is a lot of money and even more to those who have less. So, when it comes down to it, my "disposable income" (read money for games) is the first I give away. I am more than OK with that. Then there are the social issues that I read about, like the slavery, to make our tech and I just don't know how I feel.

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Belegorm

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Practicing Roman Catholic. Raised by my parents that were nominally Protestant till I was about 5 when my mom became Catholic, and about 8 when my Dad became Catholic, and for the next decade or so I was raised in the most Catholic-ass-Catholic household you could imagine. We went on many ups and downs, from pretty darn traditional when my parents were filled with fervor, to more laid-back when they got older and wiser.

Myself, most of my life it seemed like the most awesome thing in the world would be to be a priest. Not only did I help at Mass and get awestruck by the thought of a priest bringing God down to an altar, but also as I got older I learned about how while there are many horrible priests who have done the worst, most unspeakable shit; however, I also saw first hand that for every one of those terrible human beings there are scores of other priests who work tirelessly to help people. Day in day out, they're out there, from the early morning to pretty late at night, visiting the sick, helping in the parish, teaching in the schools.

I went to college seminary for 4 years (about halfway through; usually you go there for a total of 6-9 years), then decided that maybe priesthood was either not my calling, or it wasn't the right time. I ended up working at a job that has little to do with my philosophy degree, but I've been exposed to a variety of viewpoints on life and morals and existence that I hadn't been aware of before.

One of the things that came to me while thinking about philosophy was to not take anything for granted. A lot of religious people act on blind faith, and other non-religious people accept what they see only. From modern philosophy I learned to doubt everything, even God, but from ancient and medieval philosophy I learned to not just assume that there isn't an objective truth. I also learned to not just believe that it's impossible to learn this truth. Particularly over the past year I've doubted my own faith a lot; I'm not that great of a person, I've never been especially pious or prayerful (might surprise people considering I'd wanted to be a priest before), and Catholicism has had a lot of marks against it in our 2,000 year history.

At one point I even started considering myself an agnostic, but of a different kind than most. "Agnostic" means "not-knowledge." Agnostics hold you really can't prove one way or the other whether or not there is a God, or at least some kind of Supreme Being, Higher Power, or First Maker. They assume a neutral stance on it, but then go on the assumption that since they don't know one way or the other, better to assume there isn't one. My thought (actually not my original thought, but what I went off of), is that there are a lot of goods that come out of religious belief, as well as evils, but overall a helpful worldview, at least as far as I was able to tell, so might as well go on the assumption that there is a God of some sort. And if you happen to be right, the payoff would be great, after death!

However more lately I think I've seen the presence of God in my life more clearly and it has reaffirmed my mostly lost faith; both that in a pretty chaotic cosmos there appears to be some kind of providence providing order. Or if nothing else, I think it's impossible to disprove the existence of a God, for it could be something that set everything in order and let it go, but makes total sense if you think about it from that perspective.

TL;DR in the end I think that a lot of people gravely misunderstand the Catholic Church, or think it unreasonable. But from my personal experience at least, there are very logical, reasonable reasons for all of its teachings, and there have been countless members who have been motivated by their faith (like Mother Theresa), to go do incredible things and make a difference. What does it mean for me? Love everyone unconditionally. Especially those who hate me, or are intolerant of me.

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qrdl

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#47  Edited By qrdl
@sterling said:

I'm agnostic. And no, that isn't a fancy way of saying atheist. Agnostics don't disbelieve in a god. We just need proof that one actually exists. Basically I believe that nothing is known or can be known of an existence of a god, or of an afterlife. I claim neither faith nor disbelief in either. There is no way for humans to know of such things. I used to think I was an atheist. But then someone told me my views sounded more agnostic, and I had never heard the term before. Once I started reading about it, I agreed.

Please, please don't perpetuate this misconception. It's so often used to portray atheists as rabid fanatics as opposed to agnostics who are sophisticated, logically coherent and "just don't know". What is this disbelief you mention? Is it simply a lack of belief in god due to lack of evinence or any other reason to? If so, than alright, this is atheism. However, it seems to me that you claim that atheists somehow "actively" disbelieve or maybe claim to know that there is no god. Such a claim would be at least simplistic, logically wrong and probably simply dishonest. Why? Because, just as you said, there's now way to know about such things. Even if eveything points to the fact that it's a man-made construct, it can be at best a reasonable conclusion. There is still no way to know one way or the other.

If you are unconvinced and lack the belief in god, you are an atheist. If you're of a position that there is no way to know, then, on top of that you are an agnostic.

If you believe and still maintain that it's just faith and there is no way to know, you could probably be called a believing agnostic.

You can even remain logically coherent if you are an atheist and don't ascribe to agnosticism. You can simply claim that for now it seems to you that there is no god, but we might be able to tell in the future (by for example deconstructing the whole phenomenon neurologically, who knows?). I guess that would be provisional agnositicism.

This false distinction between atheists and agnostics is a major straw man. I once ascribed to that, because it was explained this way to me as well. I feel that most of non-believers who describe themselves as agnostics and definitely not atheists, do so because they don't want to be regarded as oafish. In my opinion, they do a disservice to their own epistemological position. It's really convenient for "the other side" if an atheist is ashamed to call himself that.

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#48  Edited By monetarydread

I'm an agnostic; the whole concept of religion is kinda silly, but I don't discount it. It seems logical that people would create a religion as a means to control a populace by restricting individual thought. Unfortunately, all the evidence shows that this is the case, and there is nothing but other peoples faith to prove the existence of a higher power. In my world, I have given up on believing anecdotal evidence because it is almost never correct.

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deactivated-601df795ee52f

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I believed in heaven when I was like, really young, but most of my life I've been an agnostic atheist. I guess being really into sciencey stuff just makes everything about religion seem absolutely absurd to me.

It hasn't affected the games I play at all. The only time it's really had any impact on my life was in high school, where this kid I was friends with was just completely unfamiliar to the idea of someone not believing in god and pestered me about it all the time.

I don't care if people believe in god, heaven, or anything else associated with religion. Just don't force your beliefs on others. Let people think for themselves.

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Toastburner_B

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#50  Edited By Toastburner_B

@arbitrarywater said:

I identify myself as a Christian and I still go to church almost every sunday. I imagine that makes me the weird one on this corner of the internet.

Don't worry, man. I'm about to do something that will make you not the weird one on this corner of the internet.

Hi, I'm a Mormon.

...I know right?