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Big Chris
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« on: April 17, 2012, 03:09:26 PM »

Life amounts to keeping ourselves occupied until we die.

Some choose to occupy themselves with business, others with social justice, some occupy their time with birdwatching, and others with narcotics.

God and religion are nothing more than a source of entertainment.
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 03:16:14 PM »

Interesting. Is this a quote from someone or something you're fighting with?

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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 03:20:52 PM »

I would say that this is only valid if you are of the opinion that life is meaningless. This, of course is not the christian understanding of life. As far as I understand it, the meaning of life is to be united with God.
 
That God and religion ARE merely toolS we use to distract ourselves with until we die can only be a posibility, if God do not exist.
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 03:32:26 PM »

I would say that this is only valid if you are of the opinion that life is meaningless. This, of course is not the christian understanding of life. As far as I understand it, the meaning of life is to be united with God.
 
That God and religion ARE merely toolS we use to distract ourselves with until we die can only be a posibility, if God do not exist.


The Mind is like a monkey trapped inside a brick house which frantically yet futilely seeks a way out.  Even in its utter exhaustion, the monkey daydreams its way out.
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 03:33:08 PM »

I would say that this is only valid if you are of the opinion that life is meaningless. This, of course is not the christian understanding of life. As far as I understand it, the meaning of life is to be united with God.
 
That God and religion ARE merely toolS we use to distract ourselves with until we die can only be a posibility, if God do not exist.


The Mind is like a monkey trapped inside a brick house which frantically yet futilely seeks a way out.  Even in its utter exhaustion, the monkey daydreams its way out.
I heard Gore Vidal say something similar to that in an interveiw once.

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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 03:46:28 PM »

I would say that this is only valid if you are of the opinion that life is meaningless. This, of course is not the christian understanding of life. As far as I understand it, the meaning of life is to be united with God.
 
That God and religion ARE merely toolS we use to distract ourselves with until we die can only be a posibility, if God do not exist.


The Mind is like a monkey trapped inside a brick house which frantically yet futilely seeks a way out.  Even in its utter exhaustion, the monkey daydreams its way out.

I'm sorry you feel this way, Mint. 

I have none of these issues.  My mind is certainly not trapped, but, free to roam, at will. 

What is it that your mind is trying to escape?  What is it that you are not free to do?

I don't see this life as a futile waste of time, or a distraction until you die....  This life is like a school.  We have assignments and rules to live by.  In the end, we will be graded on the quality of our projects and the effort we put in to them.

We can't blame anyone, if we've been lazy and haven't made an effort to better ourselves and our world.

Don't be lazy.  Stop blaming others....get out there and do something productive. 

Stop looking for excuses to justify a lack of willpower.
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 03:59:29 PM »


I'm sorry you feel this way, Mint. 

I have none of these issues.  My mind is certainly not trapped, but, free to roam, at will. 

What is it that your mind is trying to escape?  What is it that you are not free to do?

I don't see this life as a futile waste of time, or a distraction until you die....  This life is like a school.  We have assignments and rules to live by.  In the end, we will be graded on the quality of our projects and the effort we put in to them.

We can't blame anyone, if we've been lazy and haven't made an effort to better ourselves and our world.

Don't be lazy.  Stop blaming others....get out there and do something productive. 

Stop looking for excuses to justify a lack of willpower.


My own life has been very productive, and in being productive it has been entertaining.  That's all.
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 04:02:27 PM »


Well, that's different than stating that Religion and God is nothing more than an entertainment with which to wile away your days until death.

You do realize just how offensive your original statement is, don't you?
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 04:04:58 PM »


You sure do talk goodly for someone who still lives with his parents. People are becoming suspicious.
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 04:09:40 PM »

Life amounts to keeping ourselves occupied until we die.

Some choose to occupy themselves with business, others with social justice, some occupy their time with birdwatching, and others with narcotics.

God and religion are nothing more than a source of entertainment.

Thank you, Karl Marx.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 04:09:53 PM »


Well, that's different than stating that Religion and God is nothing more than an entertainment with which to wile away your days until death.

You do realize just how offensive your original statement is, don't you?


We cultivate a belief in God and His Laws, believing that there are rules to be played by, so we play by them or not.  In the end, we reap a certain satisfaction at having played the game well.  So, it is nothing more than an entertainment.  It's either play by God's Rules or engage in human trafficking.  Whatever keeps you occupied.
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 04:15:18 PM »

I have always had a hard time discussing with nihilists. How can one explain the meaning of life to someone who is convinced that everything is meaningless?
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 04:21:12 PM »

I have always had a hard time discussing with nihilists. How can one explain the meaning of life to someone who is convinced that everything is meaningless?

This is because the meaninglessness is self-evident.
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2012, 04:23:34 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2012, 04:24:58 PM »

I have always had a hard time discussing with nihilists. How can one explain the meaning of life to someone who is convinced that everything is meaningless?

This is because the meaninglessness is self-evident.

How?
Until now I have only seen an individual opinion on what the nature of existence is.
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2012, 04:25:18 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2012, 04:25:22 PM »


Well, that's different than stating that Religion and God is nothing more than an entertainment with which to wile away your days until death.

You do realize just how offensive your original statement is, don't you?


We cultivate a belief in God and His Laws, believing that there are rules to be played by, so we play by them or not.  In the end, we reap a certain satisfaction at having played the game well.  So, it is nothing more than an entertainment.  It's either play by God's Rules or engage in human trafficking.  Whatever keeps you occupied.

I feel sorry for you because you are so busy "playing a game" that you aren't living your life.  So sad.

...and in the end...it's not "satisfaction" that we reap for living a good life..

I feel very sorry for you.  You aren't "mint" you are more "lost" than anything else.

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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2012, 04:26:06 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.

You're cracking me up!  I think you've watched the Matrix one too many times!

Oh my gosh!  

How sad!!!!

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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2012, 04:34:37 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.

Now you sound like a buddhist. I am sorry, but I have a hard time seeing the point. If all is mind, then naturally, mind itself should not exist.

Cogito ergo sum
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2012, 04:35:48 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.


Now you sound like a buddhist. I am sorry, but I have a hard time seeing the point. If all is mind, then naturally, mind itself should not exist.

Cogito ergo sum

Amo ergo sum.
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2012, 04:38:31 PM »

This is getting interesting...  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2012, 04:39:57 PM »

Life amounts to keeping ourselves occupied until we die.
Christ is Risen!
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2012, 04:44:24 PM »


Indeed, He is Risen!!!!

....and nothing else matters!!!!
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2012, 04:46:13 PM »


Indeed, He is Risen!!!!

....and nothing else matters!!!!


I know this was not your intention and you may not even know to what I refer, but I read this and immediately thought of Metalica singing the Paschal troparion. I was up way too late last night at work.
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2012, 04:51:13 PM »


LOL!  You can read me like a book!  I have NO idea what you are talking about!!!!

...get some sleep tonight!  Wink
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2012, 04:51:48 PM »


Indeed, He is Risen!!!!

....and nothing else matters!!!!


I know this was not your intention and you may not even know to what I refer, but I read this and immediately thought of Metalica singing the Paschal troparion. I was up way too late last night at work.

whoah, metallica sang the Paschal Troparion??
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2012, 04:57:36 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2012, 05:07:05 PM »


Indeed, He is Risen!!!!

....and nothing else matters!!!!


I know this was not your intention and you may not even know to what I refer, but I read this and immediately thought of Metalica singing the Paschal troparion. I was up way too late last night at work.

whoah, metallica sang the Paschal Troparion??

Only in my head, as far as I know.
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2012, 05:13:36 PM »


Indeed, He is Risen!!!!

....and nothing else matters!!!!


I know this was not your intention and you may not even know to what I refer, but I read this and immediately thought of Metalica singing the Paschal troparion. I was up way too late last night at work.

whoah, metallica sang the Paschal Troparion??

Only in my head, as far as I know.

In mine now too.  Thanks.   Wink
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2012, 05:15:52 PM »

James is Catholic, maybe something can be arranged...  Tongue
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2012, 05:45:47 PM »

He is actually asking a very good question, I just wish he would put some more details in his commentaries. I can't really do much with those short statements.

Mint, may I ask about what have made you come to this conclusion?
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2012, 06:40:04 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

No.  Sorry for opening this thread.  I am still planning on becoming Orthodox.  I repent of what I said.  Lord, have mercy.

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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2012, 08:11:10 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

No.  Sorry for opening this thread.  I am still planning on becoming Orthodox.  I repent of what I said.  Lord, have mercy.



ok, maybe discuss some of your thoughts you've been having with your priest?
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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2012, 08:32:20 PM »

If you stare into the abyss long enough the abyss stares back into you...
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2012, 08:35:26 PM »

Well this is a crappy turn of events. I was totally ready to declare that successful troll was successful, then you backed down. Boo, good sir, boo to you. A warning, though: consequences will never be the same.

At least we got some Nietzsche and accusions of nihilism out of it.  Cool
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« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2012, 09:16:07 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.


Now you sound like a buddhist. I am sorry, but I have a hard time seeing the point. If all is mind, then naturally, mind itself should not exist.

Cogito ergo sum

Amo ergo sum.

Ego pati ergo ego sum
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2012, 09:58:29 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.


Now you sound like a buddhist. I am sorry, but I have a hard time seeing the point. If all is mind, then naturally, mind itself should not exist.

Cogito ergo sum

Amo ergo sum.

Ego pati ergo ego sum

sum, ergo sum
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2012, 10:03:49 PM »

God is not entertainment (a quasi atheistic statement) because life would not exist without God in the first place.

God is our bread of life, has given us life, has given us birth, has allowed us to be born again.  He's there in our darkest hours, there in our brightest hours, and there in our boredom as well.

He's allowed us to partake of his body, so that he will be in us, and us in him.

I don't sit around watching God happen.  God allows me to experience life.

For us, there is nothing new under the sun that hasn't happened before.  Sure people make up entertaining things about God, but to experience his pain, his charity, and to live out the commandments and teachings of God, is far from entertainment.

Unless of course, taking up a cross sound like entertainment to you.  Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2012, 10:07:57 PM »

If it was meaningless, it wouldn't exist.

It doesn't, not really.  It's all mind.


Now you sound like a buddhist. I am sorry, but I have a hard time seeing the point. If all is mind, then naturally, mind itself should not exist.

Cogito ergo sum

Amo ergo sum.

Ego pati ergo ego sum

sum, ergo sum

EGO SUM sic dixit Christus dominus
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2012, 10:14:53 PM »

Interesting.

Really? I didn't think so.
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« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2012, 10:17:49 PM »


Well, that's different than stating that Religion and God is nothing more than an entertainment with which to wile away your days until death.

You do realize just how offensive your original statement is, don't you?


We cultivate a belief in God and His Laws, believing that there are rules to be played by, so we play by them or not.  In the end, we reap a certain satisfaction at having played the game well.  So, it is nothing more than an entertainment.  It's either play by God's Rules or engage in human trafficking.  Whatever keeps you occupied.

Cool, so if I were to stab you repeatedly in the face and vital organs, would you expect the rest of humanity to denounce my actions or laud them as equally optional and meaningless as what goes on at the Holy Table each Sunday morning?
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« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2012, 11:56:42 PM »

If you stare into the abyss long enough the abyss stares back into you...

Amen.
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« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2012, 12:07:44 AM »

Quote
...meaninglessness is self-evident.
Surely you can't mean that.
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« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2012, 01:46:46 AM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

No.  Sorry for opening this thread.  I am still planning on becoming Orthodox.  I repent of what I said.  Lord, have mercy.


There's nothing to apologize for. In fact, I think it's healthy to question things. Especially when it's something as important as this.
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« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2012, 05:33:09 AM »

Christ is Risen!


 This thread made me think before the first cup of coffee so please forgive if I end up being all over the place and making no sense. although the OP has abandoned his position on the matter, still the idea seems worth looking into.

Even though one was to forget the glorious sun rise, and its setting, the sublime waterfalls and the gentle spring and the majestic mountains, the magnificent forests, the awesome desert and the resplendent beauty of the green and the golden fields, the laughter of Children, the song of the birds, the terrifying majesty of the four winds, or the  look, smell and texture of the newly ploughed earth, the mystery of the ocean, the roar of the thunder, the welcoming bark of your dog or the purr and that gentle rub of your adoring cat angel , the magic of birth  or the change of the seasons, the feeling of coming home after the battle of each day… Grin

Or the pain of loss and suffering, war, famine, starvation, disease,  cruelty, death, betrayal, anger, malice , greed, depression,  the jaded young, the immature old, hopeless children, etc… are all these merely entertainment for a mind boxed in some imaginary wall and otherwise meaningless? Are those who are suffering being entertained also?

Perhaps one might need to ask what would happen if that mind was not entertained?

What would happen to it in that utter stillness?

Why would the mind seek a way out in the first place? If such seeking out is a common trait to all minds then can it be that itself is the purpose and meaning of that mind? If that is the case then its existence ceases to be meaningless will it not? Now that the mind is doing what it was meant to do that is seek out. Perhaps then the need of that entertainment itself belies the claim that its struggle is aimless and meaningless. If the interaction with time is only to stay occupied, the need to stay occupied speaks of a lack that leads to experience in response to and as a result of that lack of something. A life that is constantly trying to feed a lack, even though knowing it will never be satiated fully yet settles for the chase anyway until  the indifferent time interferes and one is kicked out of the race. If such was life indeed it would have been ruled by death and everything the rule of death entails. Indeed under the rule of death, fear is the motivating factor for all actions or inactions. If one has only death to look forward to then the need to avoid it would create all manner of corruption and distortion of truth. That in turn will lead to a man that is no longer human. C.S. Lewis would say it’s the abolition of man. For that creature the truth and worth of everything is defined by whether or not he is entertained by it.
 
For the Christian, life does not manifest itself out of lack, life comes out of the fullness of Love : God’s Love. Love Created the universe, God created man knowing full well He will be rejected, love followed the exiled chained and mortally wounded man into the place of his exile into hostile territories, cared for him with wisdom power gave him hope that he will be healed and through him the world that got infected by death as her king got infected by it.as the battle raged on for the destiny of man in the fullness of time God entered history in the ultimate act of love, the Son of God, the Word, the Power and the Wisdom of the Father, descended towards us and took on the form of a Slave! And we showed him no mercy, as he healed us, we cursed him , as he loved us , we hated him, as he unchained us, we chained him, as he put oil to our wounds we flogged him to the bones and spat upon him, as he lifted our shamefully casted down heads and crowned us with Life everlasting , we battered his head with our sticks and crowned him with thorns, as he vested us with the vestments of Glory, we stripped him naked and shamed him, as he silenced the mocking laughter of demons for us, we mockingly laughed at his suffering and blasphemed him, still the Father’s love for the world was steadfast, He willed His beloved Son to die the shameful death on the Cross, the Love of the Son was steadfast towards us that hated him and saying here I am, willingly laid his life for us and we killed him. From the cross the Good shepherd gathered all to himself, the Healer healed all and cried out in victory ‘ It is Perfected!’ for all have been made new in Christ the Victorious! The New Adam has loved perfectly being obedient even unto death! Through him we became Children of the Father, and dwelling temples of the Holy Spirit. Through him the fallen world is healed and transfigured and ascended into heights indescribable. Through him in his resurrection, a New Life in a New Day began: a day of rejoicing and gladness; a day without a night. For this reason st Paul says in Romans 14 :7-9 “ 7For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. 8For whether we live, we live to the Lord; and whether we die, we die to the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” And again he boldly says in Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”


Death trampled down by death, life everlasting proclaimed. The fear of death taken away time and timelessness both are capable of manifesting the Divine. Because of this, because of Christ time is meaningful, purposeful and sacred with all its pain and suffering, its joy and gladness. We are meant to do all things in it with Love and offer it back to God that gives us this time. Yes there are rules, rather there is only one rule , and that is LOVE. In the Second Advent we will not be asked whether or not we have studied the scriptures, the church canons, fasted, preached, etc.. Rather we will be asked if we have loved our neighbor, how much? As Christ loved us! This much! John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  Especially In his first epistle St. John reminds us about this new commandment again and again because of its importance. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25 we see the terrifying reality of it. St. Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians chapter 13 tells us the worth of Love or rather the worthlessness of all the actions of piety with out love.

And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

In Christ,
Hiwot.
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« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2012, 06:34:21 AM »

Life amounts to keeping ourselves occupied until we die.

Some choose to occupy themselves with business, others with social justice, some occupy their time with birdwatching, and others with narcotics.

God and religion are nothing more than a source of entertainment.

Mint, if playing the devil's advocate, being "Catholic (potential Orthodox)" , is simply engaging in an exercise of "tearing down the temple so he can rebuild it again"....  These questions are valuable and sometimes need to be asked/explored before a deeper opening can take place...
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« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2012, 11:03:20 AM »

Mint, it would be useful to investigate why you are saying these things. Just for entertainment, or do you actually mean them?
It's one thing to play around with ideas, and another to believe them. Notice I said believe. You'll find that there is a distinction between what people think and what they believe. We say/think many things, but we only act on those we believe in (yet we may not know for sure if they are true).  Faith is necessary in approaching God.  No matter how much some would criticize "blind faith", it is a virtuous thing to believe (without seeing) in a God of absolute Love, Beauty and Perfection. It's also a deep desire that man has; and it's one's free will at work. People will continue to want a God, while others will continue to not want a God. It's a matter of desire and freedom, but it also speaks volumes about one's heart and highest (or lowest) aspirations. And there is no conflict between Faith and rationality/logic, unless one does not have correct Faith in God (does not love God for the right reasons).  I have not yet seen the man who does something Good and it becomes something evil. Smiley  And I have not seen the man who does something Evil and becomes something Good. Again, we must be careful not to play around with these notions too much in our head, or else suffering will remind us again that Evil hurts.
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« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2012, 12:14:11 PM »

I have always had a hard time discussing with nihilists. How can one explain the meaning of life to someone who is convinced that everything is meaningless?

They're not convinced that everything is meaningless. They are, for example, often convinced that they themselves are quite meaningful and smart and aware, to have discerned truths that have eluded the vulgar and stupid majority.
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« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2012, 02:26:40 PM »

I have always had a hard time discussing with nihilists. How can one explain the meaning of life to someone who is convinced that everything is meaningless?

They're not convinced that everything is meaningless. They are, for example, often convinced that they themselves are quite meaningful and smart and aware, to have discerned truths that have eluded the vulgar and stupid majority.

Have they not?

Oh, and troll is gaining success without even trying. I am impressed. But that success gets back to the comment about people being vulgar and stupid. Well, not vulgar, I rather like vulgar (in most of it's senses).
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« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2012, 08:33:26 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

What if this were true?
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« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2012, 12:35:06 AM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

What if this were true?

if this were true, Mint, than perhaps it would be good to take another look at your motives for being "religious" in the first place. Atheism in this case would be the last stop on the journey to meet your own pride.   Is it your own profit you are interested in, or the profit for you brother?  Do you live for yourself, or for someone else?  And what is "legitimacy" worth, if it does not serve this motive?
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« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2012, 12:53:10 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

What if this were true?

then you can tell us some of the things that have been troubling you about the faith, and we can talk about them. I went through the same path, which is why it seemed a familiar one to me.
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« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2012, 01:13:15 PM »

or you can pm me if you want.
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« Reply #53 on: April 19, 2012, 05:46:33 PM »

In my case, when I turned 18, my father said that I had been in the Church all of my life and that I had to decide for myself whether or not I wanted to believe and to choose the Church that I would belong to, if I believed. He told me to start from scratch--that is from the premise that God does not exist and work my way out of that hole.
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« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2012, 09:50:39 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

What if this were true?

then you can tell us some of the things that have been troubling you about the faith, and we can talk about them. I went through the same path, which is why it seemed a familiar one to me.

If I could reclaim all the hours I've wasted recounting my developing experience on discussion boards like this, who knows how young I'd be!  It's a constant reenactment, writing a novel just to bring some disinterested audience 1/16 up to speed so they can facilitate some smart-jack response. 

I have wasted more than 5 years of my life, dropped out of graduate school, and nearly became a monk all for the pursuit of something called God and His Son Jesus, I have wrestled with God with nearly every waking breath, I have been sent to therapy because my piety was leading an identity crisis, I have tried running away from God, I have tried practicing Dzogchen and seriously believed that I was karmically destined to practice Dzogchen, and then I get swept up again in this Christianity thing again which I can't escape, and I get really really really excited to finally become Orthodox, something I've wanted to do since first studying the Fathers in college, and, you know what, as much as I can have faith that there is a God and that all the modernist biblical scholars are viewing Scripture through postmodernist Glasses, I can equally feel like a shipwrecked sailor clutching to a piece of driftwood hovering above the abyss of the dark sea below.  I realize that I practice religion because I'm not Brad Pitt who has a busy schedule.  I practice religion because I want to believe there's a god, I want to believe the Buddhists are wrong, I want to believe there is hope, I want to believe that if what Jesus said is true then the Orthodox Church is the true church, I want to believe because the sun rises, the Northern Cardinal eats its food without malice but with thanksgiving, and behind each face lies a story that extends backwards in time throughout the generations.

And screw you yuppies who are to judge me.
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« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2012, 11:46:14 PM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

What if this were true?

then you can tell us some of the things that have been troubling you about the faith, and we can talk about them. I went through the same path, which is why it seemed a familiar one to me.

If I could reclaim all the hours I've wasted recounting my developing experience on discussion boards like this, who knows how young I'd be!  It's a constant reenactment, writing a novel just to bring some disinterested audience 1/16 up to speed so they can facilitate some smart-jack response. 

I have wasted more than 5 years of my life, dropped out of graduate school, and nearly became a monk all for the pursuit of something called God and His Son Jesus, I have wrestled with God with nearly every waking breath, I have been sent to therapy because my piety was leading an identity crisis, I have tried running away from God, I have tried practicing Dzogchen and seriously believed that I was karmically destined to practice Dzogchen, and then I get swept up again in this Christianity thing again which I can't escape, and I get really really really excited to finally become Orthodox, something I've wanted to do since first studying the Fathers in college, and, you know what, as much as I can have faith that there is a God and that all the modernist biblical scholars are viewing Scripture through postmodernist Glasses, I can equally feel like a shipwrecked sailor clutching to a piece of driftwood hovering above the abyss of the dark sea below.  I realize that I practice religion because I'm not Brad Pitt who has a busy schedule.  I practice religion because I want to believe there's a god, I want to believe the Buddhists are wrong, I want to believe there is hope, I want to believe that if what Jesus said is true then the Orthodox Church is the true church, I want to believe because the sun rises, the Northern Cardinal eats its food without malice but with thanksgiving, and behind each face lies a story that extends backwards in time throughout the generations.

And screw you yuppies who are to judge me.

LOL. You had me right up to the last sentence.

2 things--First, you are not only one, not even the only one on this board, who stumbled into Orthodoxy not with the sense that everything finally made sense but rather that all the other options had failed and Orthodoxy was our last desperate 'Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief'.

While I'm sure that if it hasn't happened yet, it will, the vast majority of your respondents are not judging you. We are genuinely trying to help, we're just not sure how (being just as human as you are).
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« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2012, 03:42:26 AM »

Mint,

How often do you ask yourself how you feel?
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« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2012, 09:10:17 AM »

2 things--First, you are not only one, not even the only one on this board, who stumbled into Orthodoxy not with the sense that everything finally made sense but rather that all the other options had failed and Orthodoxy was our last desperate 'Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief'.

Yesterday, I was watching a video entitled "Moving Art - Gratitude," which contained a beautiful, meditative narration by Brother David Steindl-Rast, and I thought to myself, 'This is the true beauty of Christ; this is the essence of Christian spirituality; this would convert billions.'  Brother David Steindl-Rast is a Catholic monk - and I found myself thinking, again, 'If such a wise, spiritually awake man is satisfied with remaining as a Catholic, why can't I?'  Then, moments later, I was reading about how the Vatican is cracking down on American feminist nuns - and oh, the comments that followed were egregious.  I realized then why I have had so much trouble remaining Catholic:  "Catholicism" has become more of a political position than it has as spiritual body of believers; there's so much negativity happening in the Catholic Church, and millions upon millions of Catholics from the faithful to the dissident are angry about something; even the monks are confused, many of them becoming Zen masters in addition to priests in the wake of Merton; there is such a dearth of priests that the ones we have are spread like too little butter over bread so that the 99 sheep rather the one which remains faithful are left to wander aimlessly; and there is NOTHING going on in my own parish or any other parish near me…and trust me, as someone who has been part of RCIA, the Knights of Columbus and the Stewardship Commission I should know.  There's very little good going on in the Catholic Church.  Sure, there are good-hearted souls who feed the hungry, who help destitute in the Phillipines, who act in the name of environmentalism and social justice, who live the words of Jesus and do their best to live holy, fulfilling lives - but this isn't any indication of the truth of the Catholic Church as I have seen and read reports of Orthodox, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists doing the same.
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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2012, 11:41:56 AM »

I think I have an idea where the OP is coming from. I think that he has been investigating religion, and had been led to Orthodoxy by some means. He wants to believe in God, yet has been having doubts lately. For some reason, he thought that Orthodoxy was his last hope to find belief in God. For some reason he recently became dissapointed in it, or something happened to make him question the "legitimacy" of Orthodoxy. Now he wants to throw it all to the wind because Orthodoxy was the last "stop" on his journey towards finding faith. Now he feels "resigned" to atheism.

Is this accurate, Mint?

What if this were true?

then you can tell us some of the things that have been troubling you about the faith, and we can talk about them. I went through the same path, which is why it seemed a familiar one to me.

If I could reclaim all the hours I've wasted recounting my developing experience on discussion boards like this, who knows how young I'd be!  It's a constant reenactment, writing a novel just to bring some disinterested audience 1/16 up to speed so they can facilitate some smart-jack response. 

I have wasted more than 5 years of my life, dropped out of graduate school, and nearly became a monk all for the pursuit of something called God and His Son Jesus, I have wrestled with God with nearly every waking breath, I have been sent to therapy because my piety was leading an identity crisis, I have tried running away from God, I have tried practicing Dzogchen and seriously believed that I was karmically destined to practice Dzogchen, and then I get swept up again in this Christianity thing again which I can't escape, and I get really really really excited to finally become Orthodox, something I've wanted to do since first studying the Fathers in college, and, you know what, as much as I can have faith that there is a God and that all the modernist biblical scholars are viewing Scripture through postmodernist Glasses, I can equally feel like a shipwrecked sailor clutching to a piece of driftwood hovering above the abyss of the dark sea below.  I realize that I practice religion because I'm not Brad Pitt who has a busy schedule.  I practice religion because I want to believe there's a god, I want to believe the Buddhists are wrong, I want to believe there is hope, I want to believe that if what Jesus said is true then the Orthodox Church is the true church, I want to believe because the sun rises, the Northern Cardinal eats its food without malice but with thanksgiving, and behind each face lies a story that extends backwards in time throughout the generations.

And screw you yuppies who are to judge me.

Oh I feel you! You feel like the ground has opened up and your heart ripped out and then you feel steady just to be knocked over again? At least that was my experience. I wasn't raised any faith but all my life I've considered myself aware of "something spiritually more" and searched for it as best I could. I would get upset that I didn't know who Jesus was, I felt like I was "missing the boat" that how can there be so many Christians in the world if there isn't something to it? I knew nothing of God, the Holy Spirit, or about any of it. I'd never really picked up a bible. I began going to various churches about 3 years ago to find a place I felt the presence of God. I found what I was looking for when I visited the Orthodox church. But I didn't understand ANY of it. I didn't understand the Saints, the Sermon, the Liturgy (and yes it was in English). None of it. All I knew was that I felt something there I'd never felt before. It scared me at first. Overwhelming of the senses. But after a few more weeks I craved that beauty, that energy again and I went back, still knowing nothing of who Jesus or the Theotokos or even how to read a bible. It took about 8 months (during which I attended a UU church sporatically) when I just missed that essence so I went back to the Orthodox church. Again I felt that energy and decided to write the priest an e-mail. It literally said, "I have no idea who Jesus is, but there's something here and I want to learn more about it." We then met and talked for 2 hours (talk about a fried brain) about Jesus and Mary and the early church history and I was given a book to read (the Hopko series). At first I just read it from an intellectual stand point. None of it had really ingrained in my heart. But over the next couple months my mind and heart were put through the wringer as I literally packed up all the baggage I had about religion and Christianity from society and my parent's influence and start ALL OVER. I was terrified. I would call my priest in tears that I felt so torn and confused and he would tell me "the demons of doubt will come to test you but just stay the course".  And I thought, anything that makes me feel this screwed up and emotionally roller coastered must be worth it because in my opinion, spirituality can't be easy and convenient and soul-meaningful at the same time. I felt like my old (non)belief system was fighting for its life. I've been attending regularily since last Oct and I admit, the rollercoaster didn't stop until about month 5, which was just this past Lent where things finally are seeming to come together.

So I will give you the same advice, don't let your doubts cloud your mind. Keep reading, asking, learning. Stay the course.
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