I like to learn about other religions out there in the world that i am not familiar with. However in my opinion, I don't really follow religion and the beliefs of gods and goddesses, instead i just follow my own moral code and proper justice.
Religion is an extremely interesting mental development. most religious people just blindly stumble into it without actually taking a step back and thinking about it. But, if your religious, that would kind of defeat the purpose.
I come from really lefty beat generation parents so I've always been interested in eastern philosophies like Falun gong and Daoism
Would anyone here read the Quran/Koran?
honestly, I think this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstructionist_Judaism is the best form of abrahamic theology I've seen.
It was about as positive a reading experience as reading the Bible is.
I think some people just follow a religious path because it was basically crammed down their throat by their parents or someone else, and now they don't know how to actually give a good answer for a good question about their own religion.
Others are just blind followers who only see it as the only way and nothing else matters, even if they are wrong.
I would research it, but it feels like an arduous task.
One example: for the last couple of months I've been going to a new bible-study group run by some members of my church. So far, the theme for nearly every evening has been something that has been on my mind in the days leading up to them. As a result I usually have questions and thoughts lined up ready to discuss. I feel that god made me think about these subjects beforehand so that I have time to think. Generally, if there's something bothering me, somebody is always there ready to help.
I've had (what I consider) answers to prayers: such as finding a job that suits me, healing when I smashed my foot with a paving slab and probably the strangest was (to cut a long story short) a friend at church offering to lend me money, completely out of the blue when I really needed it.
Also I know a lot of people who have been changed radically for the better after becoming Christians. Seeing what they're like with that purpose in their life makes me feel good.
For me there have been loads of times over several years that something (usually small and insignificant to most people) has happened that makes me feel like there is somebody there.
There's no way that I can prove any of this and I don't expect you to take my word for it, but you did ask.
But then again, I've had a lot of them over the last 3 or so years.
The problem with religion is when I know people that have their parents quite literally using it to strangle them. Things like having constant keylogging and screencaps of what they're doing on the computer, extensive parental controls, constant bible-thumping about how they have sinned and must repent, no leaving the house, no walking home, no going out with friends, etc.
You see, if you take out religion, all of these actions become far less palatable. Religion is great because it was a form of government before we really figured out the whole government idea, but since then it's really just become a tradition that no one really examines. This is deeply related with the concept of securitization, in which by declaring something a matter of national security we just accept it instead of being able to examine it critically. Discourse is a necessary part of examining any aspect of a debate, and as a result religion is harder to palate because it inherently requires the removal of critical thought and a dependence on faith.
If God had the time and patience to get you a job or heal your foot, why does he not lift people out of poverty, why not help out other people who are getting cholera or polio in poor parts of the world? If he has the time to help a middle class guy in the US, surely he has time for these other, more important things?
Why have some sort of trust in science? The fact that scientists are okay with flat out saying that they don't know is pretty good to me. No one is omnipotent in knowledge, and I notice that religious people claim to know far more than scientists do.
Science is more of a "happening" rather than a topic with a basis.
The only basis science has is the method, but I can't really more than that because there's far too much going on in science to comprehend.
I guess that's the closest I've ever been to a 'religious experience' really
I don't foresee the hyper-religious mideast doing anything less than becoming more and more aggressive and proactive as long as the civilized world leans towards secular humanism, which it inevitably is, regardless of whether the United States EVER recovers from the downward spiral of the similarly advancing religious right or not.
The best thing we can do is keep pushing education and not react to their threats whenever we breach taboos of THEIR religious culture. They won't "die down", they're behavior will escalate as their status quo is threatened by a changing world, but only by remaining firm will our ideals ever infiltrate their culture and at LEAST soften them, kicking and screaming, to the relatively "docile" standard of modern-day Christianity.