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Ologhai Jones

Searching For A Religion

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I just heard an item on today's Woman's Hour on Radio 4 about the 'thousands of young British women' converting to Islam. An interviewee, who had relatively recently converted, spoke about having been on a spiritual journey in recent years (that she was actively looking for something to believe in, you might say) and that she'd looked into Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam as part of this journey.

It occurred to me that maybe this approach of comparative assessment of religions leads to questions about belief itself, namely: Does it make sense to actively look for something to believe? When it comes to matters of pure faith, don't people simply believe whatever they believe irrespective of the 'menu' of choices? Shouldn't someone's beliefs come before looking to see what's already out there? Isn't 'shopping' for a religion in this way inherently at odds with the nature of belief?

The interviewee also suggested that her new-found faith led her to strive for thankfulness and forgiveness in her everyday life. The interviewer (Jane Garvey) asked numerous questions about how the interviewee's daily routine is affected by her religious observances, and whether she had taken to wearing head scarves and so on, but didn't seem to ask what seemed to me a much more fundamental question: Why? Not just why Islam, but why religion at all?

As I imagine that the interviewee's quest for thankfulness and forgiveness in her life comes firmly from within rather than without, why not just simply strive to be a better person without the doctrine and dogma? Why go on an outward-looking journey to try to locate something you might be able to believe in rather than an inward-looking one to work out what you really think?

One of us (either the interviewee, or perhaps the interviewer, and myself) seems to missing something. I wonder if it's me...

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The vast majority of people inherit their faith from their parents, they don't assess the various religions before making an "informed" decsion.

Let's face it, why would anyone choose to follow a faith that hadn't been indoctrinated into them from birth?

Mind you, as an atheist I can't understand the need for religion at all, so I'm probably not best placed to comment.

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Nah I think it is a feeling that people want to belong into something weather is be communism, religion a club a culture etc which is driving this.

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They are just looking for anything that means they have to accept the truth. When you die you become a pile of gunge in the ground and that is it.

People don't like to accept this to try to find a way out. If that makes them happy then so be it. Don't see the point myself. I am quite happy in the knowledge I will become worm food. Lucky worms.

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I just heard an item on today's Woman's Hour on Radio 4 about the 'thousands of young British women' converting to Islam. An interviewee, who had relatively recently converted, spoke about having been on a spiritual journey in recent years (that she was actively looking for something to believe in, you might say) and that she'd looked into Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam as part of this journey.

It occurred to me that maybe this approach of comparative assessment of religions leads to questions about belief itself, namely: Does it make sense to actively look for something to believe? When it comes to matters of pure faith, don't people simply believe whatever they believe irrespective of the 'menu' of choices? Shouldn't someone's beliefs come before looking to see what's already out there? Isn't 'shopping' for a religion in this way inherently at odds with the nature of belief?

The interviewee also suggested that her new-found faith led her to strive for thankfulness and forgiveness in her everyday life. The interviewer (Jane Garvey) asked numerous questions about how the interviewee's daily routine is affected by her religious observances, and whether she had taken to wearing head scarves and so on, but didn't seem to ask what seemed to me a much more fundamental question: Why? Not just why Islam, but why religion at all?

As I imagine that the interviewee's quest for thankfulness and forgiveness in her life comes firmly from within rather than without, why not just simply strive to be a better person without the doctrine and dogma? Why go on an outward-looking journey to try to locate something you might be able to believe in rather than an inward-looking one to work out what you really think?

One of us (either the interviewee, or perhaps the interviewer, and myself) seems to missing something. I wonder if it's me...

I have often thought that young women today were mad. This simply confirms my opinion.

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I think some people just like being told what to do. I coulDn't subscribe to the tradition Religions as I would come to the point of seeing their inperfection and begin to doubt, which of course is not compatible with faith. Iam a member of the Church of England and some of their stuff leaves me cold. So I do have problems with their creed. But that the thing about Anglcans they can take any old anomolous veiwpoint

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I think some people just like being told what to do. I coulDn't subscribe to the tradition Religions as I would come to the point of seeing their inperfection and begin to doubt, which of course is not compatible with faith. Iam a member of the Church of England and some of their stuff leaves me cold. So I do have problems with their creed. But that the thing about Anglcans they can take any old anomolous veiwpoint

Not so much being told what to do as not having to think about things. I suspect many people struggle with the idea that everything isn't black and white, there's plenty that's unexplained, and that some things just happen to be rather than having any meaning to them.

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They are just looking for anything that means they have to accept the truth. When you die you become a pile of gunge in the ground and that is it.

People don't like to accept this to try to find a way out. If that makes them happy then so be it. Don't see the point myself. I am quite happy in the knowledge I will become worm food. Lucky worms.

You don't see the irony in that statement?

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Mind you, as an atheist I can't understand the need for religion at all, so I'm probably not best placed to comment.

Isn't atheism a faith? I can understand people being agnostic, but I think atheists have over-stepped into exactly that which they criticise.

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Isn't atheism a faith? I can understand people being agnostic, but I think atheists have over-stepped into exactly that which they criticise.

Abscence of faith isn't the same thing as faith.

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Isn't atheism a faith? I can understand people being agnostic, but I think atheists have over-stepped into exactly that which they criticise.

That's a line pushed by many religious types. Complete cobblers, of course.

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That's a line pushed by many religious types. Complete cobblers, of course.

Well, as an atheist you have categorically ruled out the existence of God. I'm just interested in how you can possibly do that.

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Well, as an atheist you have categorically ruled out the existence of God. I'm just interested in how you can possibly do that.

No I haven't, I think there's about as much chance of their being a god as there is of the sun being an alien spaceship. Almost zero.

I choose to call myself an atheist because to all intents and purposes, that is what I am. However, unlike the religious, I keep an open mind.

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No I haven't, I think there's about as much chance of their being a god as there is of the sun being an alien spaceship. Almost zero.

I choose to call myself an atheist because to all intents and purposes, that is what I am. However, unlike the religious, I keep an open mind.

So you are actually agnostic.

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So you are actually agnostic.

Call me what you like. I know what I am.

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You don't see the irony in that statement?

No ?

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So you are actually agnostic.

I think Dawkins makes a distinction between a strong atheist and a weak atheist, or something like that.

An agnostic isn't sure either way

A weak atheist is 99.9999% sure there isn't a god

A strong atheist is 100% sure there isn't a god

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Religions do offer a package. If you buy into the myths and customs, then you might get the social benefits of belonging to an identifiable group. People get the same from supporting football teams or political movements.

Young British women have always had a liking for young Arab men - even in the 70's, long before radical Islam had spread over here, a 'trophy' Arab boyfriend was almost a rite of passage for British female students. From what I remember, the Arab students tended to favour girls with long blonde hair.

I'm an atheist and my 'religion' is humanism, which provides a moral and 'spiritual' add-on for atheists.

I've wondered whether it's ever possible to belong to more than one religion - for instance to be a Muslim on Fridays, a Jew on Saturdays and a Christian on Sundays!

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WRT the islam thing and people chosing a religion:

I'm not sure it is a problem really. What works for one person is different to another and I don't see any real problem with that. I'm a Buddhist (more or less) and chose to do so because it made sense to and was helpful to me. I accept that some people will see it differently. Mind you Buddhism isn't really faith based and arguably isn't a religion either.

I wonder as well whether islam for some young women is at least in part a reaction to the celebrity, body beautiful worshiping culture we live in.

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I suppose that outside of the various cults, Islam is the most modern religion available these days, so it does seem reasonable.

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I suppose that outside of the various cults, Islam is the most modern religion available these days, so it does seem reasonable.

Scientology would be much better if relative modernity is what you're after.

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Call me what you like. I know what I am.

I didn't mean to offend you. It's only recently occurred to me that very few atheists would claim to "know" there is no God. So I'm trying to get a handle on the difference between agnosticism and atheism.

Even Dawkins strikes me as an agnostic. He attacks the low-hanging fruit of organised religion and completely avoids tackling the mystery that lies beyond science.

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I didn't mean to offend you. It's only recently occurred to me that very few atheists would claim to "know" there is no God. So I'm trying to get a handle on the difference between agnosticism and atheism.

Even Dawkins strikes me as an agnostic. He attacks the low-hanging fruit of organised religion and completely avoids tackling the mystery that lies beyond science.

Even Dawkins accepts that there's a miniscule possibility of there being a god, but so small as to be almost insignificant when discussing the subject. This is more a problem of inadequate titles for the many shades of belief or otherwise, IMO.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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