What's Your Religion Origin Story (or Lack Thereof)?

Discussion in 'Race, Religion, Science and Politics' started by Nick Delmacy, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    I know that the Squad doesn't discuss religion or personal religious beliefs much...Without trying to convert anyone to your beliefs or mock anyone for theirs, share your religious belief or lack thereof, especially how it relates to being gay...

    I'll go first:

    Last night a (straight) Black male friend tried to sell me on going to his Bible Study while I'm here in Los Angeles. He said it was a great gathering to get re-charged by the Word of God.

    I then told by him, "I'm the opposite of religious."

    He replied, "Opposite? You mean you're just spiritual?"

    "Nah, I'm an atheist."

    (Awkward Pause)

    "But I'm not militant about it. I respect others' beliefs."

    "You mean you don't believe?! What exactly don't you believe?"

    Sigh. :snoop:

    Whenever I reveal this to Black people, it always ends up a spiraling series of followup questions for a conversation that I don't want to have, especially on a night out of drinking. They typically want to find the root cause of my Atheism, which they assume is always a negative trauma: My mother didn't hug me enough, I had the wrong pastor, God hasn't "touched" me yet.

    [​IMG]

    However, when I say this to White people, if the response isn't "I'm a non-believer too" it's shrugged off and not made into a big deal. Especially since most of my White friends are Liberals, not Christian Conservatives.

    To answer the question of the root cause of my Atheism, it wasn't anything typical like a struggle with my homosexuality and religion...it was:

    d694ab31ba596c272dfeafb403ffce0fd441bab60a579b1b0cf4e8969fef7200.gif

    As a kid into science fiction, I was always curious about the world and universe. I remember being 9-10 years old in "Bible Study" and asking the teacher or whatever about missing dinosaurs and all that. I kept getting the "God works in mysterious ways" answer. The "answers" to other questions in the Bible never made sense to me either (Ex: The talking snake, Adam and Eve are the first people having only 2 sons, yet there are whole villages of other people out there too).

    So I turned to science (through books and documentaries) and found the factual explanations for my questions more fulfilling and even more imaginative than what was in the Biblical text.

    But by college I was still trying "find" my religion. I remember trying to give Christianity one last shot...for a straight boy, of course. He was a tall, dark skinned, slim fellow student I was good friends with. We hung out a lot and I wanted to do whatever I could to be around him more, including going to church with him.

    It wasn't a big church, maybe about 100 people tops. I went a couple times and was bored but kinda dug the community aspect. Then one sermon, the Black pastor was getting into it...

    [​IMG]

    The crowd was in the palm of his hands...then he started laughing hysterically. I mean, like a crazy man. He said God was touching his soul and bringing that much joy (or something to that effect).

    Then, as if it was a case-study for The Power of Suggestion, the entire congregation started hysterically laughing as well. Some were rolling on the floor, others waved arms frantically in the air. I looked to my sexy college friend sitting next to me, he was hunched over in his chair laughing with tears (of joy?) coming from his eyes. He looked up at me and I was like:

    [​IMG]

    The room was filled with raucous laughter to an unsaid Joke. But the Joke was me. If there was a God, at that moment he was testing my conviction and I failed it.

    I left the Church (both literally and figuratively) that day and never looked back. That was also the last time I hung out with that friend, although we remained cordial at school.

    So then I tried Islam, the Nation of Islam and even The Five Percenters (mainly thanks to 90's NYC rap music).

    None of it stuck, so I had to have a conversation with myself. This religion thing was not going to happen.

    Mean-Girls-stop-trying-to-make-fetch-happen.gif

    I started researching "spirituality" and even non-belief, but the latter just felt right. As much as I love fantasy and magic in my fiction, I can't accept it in my reality. Especially since God, who seemed so grandiose, active and magically-involved for 2,000 years in the Bible, had suspiciously become pretty shy in modern times now that we had cameras to document overt miracles that used to occur with great frequency.

    I played it safe and called myself "Agnostic" for a long time because it was more "acceptable," but I soon realized that was a cop-out. In my opinion: You either Believe in the magic or you don't. For example, you can't be just a little pregnant. You either are or you're not.

    I was officially an Atheist.

    My mother, who often quoted long Bible verses and/or gave sermons to me and my brother over the phone, was the first to find out. She had always known I was non-religious but this was a big difference. She was confrontational at first but she eventually got over it by deciding she would "pray for me."

    To be honest, she had more of a negative reaction from finding out I was an Atheist than me telling her I was Gay.

     
    #1 Nick Delmacy, Oct 14, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  2. SB3

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    10 points for the 'fetch' gif! I still use that quote waay too often.

    I'm not religious at all. I pray all of the time to whoever keeps waking me up and keeping me out of terrorist attacked buildings and hurricane/tornado/earthquake _______. I guess I just believe in karma and being conscious of the way you treat ppl.
     
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  3. OckyDub

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    In other words @Rico @Cyrus-Brooks @Ockydub check yourself if or before you respond to this here thread.

    The moment I being to question and my questions couldn't get answers (around the ages of 9-12) via bible study and sunday school...

    Then I was like well let me fully read this thing (the bible) from cover to cover and couldn't get pass the constant contradictions and plot holes in the moral stories. I found out critical thinking, science and logic had to be turned off for me to accept faith and belief.

    I choose to keep them turned on.

    Note - The Book of Revelation is by far the best read in the bible. It easily rivals other fictional works like The Lord of the Rings, Narnia or Game of Thrones. You should smoke a blunt or get a glass of wine and curl up for an evening of fun reading.

    [​IMG]
     
    #3 OckyDub, Oct 14, 2017
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  4. Jai

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    I used to be somewhat religious but I was destined for spirituality. I believe in the positive & negative energies of the universe and the laws of attraction. I come from a strong religious background. I knew it wasn't for me fully when I was 3 and saw my first person catch the holy ghost. Growing up I always wondered that if God moved in peace and tranquility, why are these people jumping up & down like demonic entities or natives around the campfire.

    Do I believe in some higher power? Yes. Do I believe it is a white man with a blonde perm and ocean blue eyes? Nope. There's something out there pulling some strings somewhere though...Godly, alien...idk...even with what we know from Science...the way that things are "set up" seem to be almost perfect, like the craftmanship and creativity of a capable force of extreme power, diversity, however, not perfection...

    In my later planned editions of my ScienceFantasy series I toy with the ideas like this.
     
  5. DreG

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    There was an artist I listened to who was big into Eastern thinking,and something about it clicked with me.All that stuff seemed to be in line with where my head was at..What I felt I'd been getting from church felt too much like routine for the sake of routine,and something that was giving me what I wanted.As my youth pastor even said "there's no spirituality left in the church",and that's what I felt.So I kinda went on my own search for truth.

    To be as concise as possible ,I feel like spirituality and physics coincide the same way as emotions and chemicals (science is the how,but not the why,to paraphrase South Park).Like,I see what we call Spirit as being a form of energy like light or sound that we can't yet quantify and explore by current means ,and the idea of Heaven is probably a state of vibration that's higher than everything else.Even with karma and stuff,I think that's all an extension of cause and effect.I do think there is a God and other higher beings just because I think the way we experience consciousness isn't the highest version,and there is a force (more so than a person in a robe) that kind of governs or initiates things.

    I have certain philosophies that I live by,but I also try to ask myself "what am i supposed to do" in any situation,big or small,as a way to stay conscious of how to govern myself so that i don't end up following some lofty ideal for the sake of "just 'cause". Not to say that I always make the right choices,but I feel like my way at least helps me stay aware of what the right options are.
     
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  6. Winston Smith

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    In other words @Rico @Cyrus-Brooks @Ockydub check yourself if or before you respond to this here thread.

    Meh. I have an understanding with my Mississippi Baptist family. They don't try to fuck with me, my degrees with Latin honors, and scientific fact and I don't remind them that the God they worship didn't use any of his magic Shazam powers to do a damn thing for blacks and Jews through 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow, and the Holocaust. So either God doesn't exist or he doesn't like blacks and jews, in which case he can kiss my ass.

    I was 12 when I told a playmate that I didnt believe in God then tore up my family Bible and stomped on it and he ran screaming out of my living room and his parents forbade him to return. From that point on, I knew my relationship with other blacks would be as problematic as with any white folk. And like a lot of New Jack generation black makes I went through my black hotep religious period, I even got to know the children of Farrakhan, Jesse, and James Bevel (which is why I knew he was a perv before he got arrested as I heard it from his sons mouth). That's when I learned black preachers and their kids were the most morally depraved mofos on the planet. But you know the gays should show "respect" for these people's beliefs...

    The federal government and military are replete with religiosity. So no, I ain't checking shit because I am not the one that caused all the oppression and hell on this earth in the name of Jesus, Allah, Buddha or Creflo Dollar's dirty drawers....

     
    #6 Winston Smith, Oct 15, 2017
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  7. OckyDub

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    Disnigga had to come with the heat...I can't take you no where.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Winston Smith

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    Nowhere did I denigrate another's member's religious offering (which is i why im not gonna quote or reply to anyone in the thread but you) which i would never do, I only spoke about my own religious story, which I'm sorry is uniformly negative.

    I DO reserve the right, however, to trash talk my OWN hypocritical religious family as I see fit as they are my blood and have given me a lifetime of hell.
     
    #8 Winston Smith, Oct 15, 2017
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  9. Cyrus-Brooks

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    200w.gif
    The reason I lambast religion in past threads when the subject came up because organized religion deserves it. That which is bullshit shall be called bullshit. If that makes me a "militant atheist" so be it. Me offending someone's religious sensibilities is far less harmful than what a militant Muslim or militant Christian would do. With that out of the way I think my experiences in many ways echoes what @Nick Delmacy has said.
    I'm an atheist I didn't become an atheist overnight. It wasn't particular thing that made me an atheist, but it was a series of events and realizations that brought me here. As kid, prior to age 13 I was skeptical of church. It struck me as make believe for adults. Often times I was horrified, amused or bewildered by church especially the part where everyone "gets the holy ghost" jumps around, screams, cries, and and like a bunch of jackasses for a half an hour or more. I was more interested in science and I loved science fiction. Science seemed like a more credible explanation for the natural world than religion to me. 13 - 18 I tried to be a Christian. I tried very hard to believe in god and Jesus. I tried to pray the gay away. Obviously that didn't work. I stopped believing in Christianity at 18 because of the hypocrisy that I saw in the church and in religious people in general. This lead me to question my faith. The more I read about history the more I realized that Christianity was an artificial construct that was adopted and promoted by European monarchs. Hell, Europe wouldn't even be Christian if emperor Constantine hadn't made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Roman Empire the church swept through Europe killing pagans and Jews and forcing them to convert. A similar thing happened in the middle-east and North Africa with Islam. Speaking of Islam I too thought about joining the NOI or becoming a Muslim mainly due to influence of 90s era rap And reading about Malcolm X. But I knew my gayness wouldn't go over well and I'd essentially be trading one oppressive religion for another. Once I learned about the Arabs role in the African slave trade I rejected Islam as an option. In my early twenties I took second look Christianity. I read the Bible from cover to cover while on a deployment that's when it hit me that this was complete and utter bullshit. Combine that with what I learned about world history and science I realized there is no all mighty god out there directing our destiny who cares about us. Judging by history if there is a god doesn't he give a shit about anyone especially especially black people. That's when I became an atheist. The funny thing is the first atheist I ever met face to face was in boot camp. He was black. Since becoming an atheist when the subject of religion comes up I'm honest with people about not believing in god and surprising I've met many like minded people of many different ethnic backgrounds. I get more pushback from believers online than face to face, especially black believers. I get the usual questions and accusations. Mostly accusations, like "I'm angry at god" "atheists worship Satan" "you're an atheist just because you want to sin" "you're an atheist because only because you're a homosexual" blah blah blah blah....
    giphy (6).gif
    Finally I do have to admit that I used to enjoy getting into rhetorical jujitsu matches with believers online. Less so these days. I find them to be tiresome and annoying. Talking to believers is like talking to racists. They're so dedicated to their ideology it's an exercise in futility for the most part.
     
  10. OckyDub

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    Sorry but don't know why this shit had me dying laughing.
     
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  11. OhSheit

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    My family's African American and Jamaican, and we're just not your stereotypical Black Christian family. So I don't have much to share other than I'm just thankful for that. After the day my mother took me to get baptized we never practiced religion or stepped foot in a church ever again lol. Wez spiritual but not religious folk.

    Life is good. I disengage in conversations with worshipers. :whew:
     
  12. ColumbusGuy

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    Well might as well...

    I don't believe in any organized religion period. It is all made up fantasy stuff and Scientology is no different from Christianity or Islam or Buddhism or whatever. Just crap.

    But I can't say I am an atheist because I still question what the meaning of the word 'God' is. Is it something?-energy, a force greater than us, a theory or something? I think Albert Einstein said that 'God is the sum total of all the knowledge in the Universe' and that is something I can understand. But in the usual way that 'God' is thought of?-no thanks. I doubt if there is something greater than us, but just because I think it does not mean I know it-so I try to keep an open mind about spirituality and more scientific(probably not the right word)explanations or meanings when it comes to spirituality.

    *and I have a particular bone to pic with straight black religious men. I always thought that my smart, artistically gifted brother became a very conservative Baptist and who now thinks the world is 6,000 years old did so because of his near death experience(survived a cancer scare and horrific and extreme surgery where they nearly had to cut him in half to remove a massive(they though cancerous but were wrong)tumor wrapped around his heart and spinal cord.

    But I find out it was black religious men at his job. They kept asking him to come to their Bible study group. They were all friendly(he was always friendly with everyone, probably a middle child thing) and they kept it up and he finally said 'Ok I will go" and he kept going and they converted him!!!!! These black men turned him into a Xian zombie!
    :nopekid::sucka:

    @Ockydub didnt mention me bitch lol so...

    FUCK all the fucked up religious nutjobs who get their life from using their religion as a cudgel with which to bash other people and make their lives miserable!

    Especially FUCK those in certain places of the Middle East and Africa, etc. where some people think it is ok to kill over religion. And FUCK those evil white Xian bastards who went to places like Uganda to stir up the religious hatreds too.

    And if anyone on this board is (stupidly being they are probably a gay black man) among the FUCK YOU groups mentioned above, tough shit-I don't give a shit if you are offended and you can...

    eat my shit.gif


    *While I believe that most things on this Earth are a shade of gray, there are some things that are black and white(no pun intended)and these religious nutjobs and the nutjob religions they adhere to(if it does not apply, then let it fly)can FUCK RIGHT OFF THE PLANET and thin the fucking herd.
     
  13. LeMignon

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    I don't recall ever being religious. My parents would take us to church sometimes when I was much younger, but I hated it. The singing was so loud and I never really got it. I would usually play my Gameboy in church or fall asleep during the sermon. Then I almost never went when I was a teenager.

    Finally, my senior year in high school I decided to take advantage of a scholarship that my church was giving out. Then I went regularly and even volunteered to help with filming the service. I was involved in a leadership class, where they basically taught closed-mindedness. Moreover, I was also dating a girl at the time. My senior year was about me pretty much giving the straight Christian life a good try before leaving for college and doing what I really wanted to do! I actually did give it a real chance and tried to understand the teachings. However, it did nothing for me and did not address my concerns... At last, I got my scholarship, went a couple more times, and then started transitioning out of that reality.

    And since then, I have been a happy, nonreligious, gay person! I actually don't think I've been back since and I'm quite satisfied with that.
     
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  14. ColumbusGuy

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    *small voice* Um...I might have had a bit too much caffeine before I made me post...just saying and all...
     
  15. Winston Smith

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    What are you apologizing for? Religionists aren’t apologizing for their ramped up hatred, why should gay men who’ve thrown off the chains of mental slavery?

    As i told a coworker, their God obviously doesn’t give a damn about the lives of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Tamar Rice, Matthew Shepard, or the dozens of people slain at Pulse. So, if Jesus or Allah were standing in front of me I’d spit right in their motherfucking faces (I’m really tired of all the fucking religionists who infest the government and military).

    “Have a Nice Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
     
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  16. ColumbusGuy

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    Well I could have made it a little more obvious that I was joking with Ocky when I said what I said there I think...and I did have too much caffeine at that time when I did. And nobody on here seems to be presenting as a religionist IMO. I certainly was not apologizing to the likes of people with religious hatred in their hearts.

    This thread is kinda not fair regarding the original post and all-there is a reason that discussion of religion and politics is so controversial(whatever you do, don't bring up politics or religion at work, school, the family reunion, etc)*. You just can't 'limit' yourself on these and 'be nice' and all and be honest at the same time. The hatreds spawned by organized religions have caused more suffering for all gay men of any color or race than HIV has or ever will.

    *of course race is probably another one of those subjects also, which is why I am coming to understand why certain groups(like those who protested the very 'mainstream' Columbus Gay Pride) do what they do-there may be really no alternative but to just come out throwing punches, unfortunately.

    *I have thought if there is a hardcore judging God like so many 'religionists' believe and I came before such a being before being sent straight to hell, I would like just a few minutes to tell that motherfucker exactly what I think of the whole idea of such a damn tyrant running humanity and all... before my 'descent' lol.
     
  17. alton

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    lmfao!!!
     
  18. Cyrus-Brooks

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    Anytime someone tells me how wonderful Islam or Christianity is I think of this Anti-gay bill-1-761040.jpg
    Lynching2-Custom.jpg
    I'm reminded that god is not great.
     
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  19. alton

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    "GOD" {i.e. Nature and the everyday goings on in the world/universe} is great, and wondrous, and all that other extra shit. It's PEOPLE that ain't about shit. Muhf@#kaz have twisted up what "GOD" is to suit their own biases/ prejudices/ ambitions for so many years that the whole shit is now one big irreversible clusterf#$k.
     
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  20. Cyrus-Brooks

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    My point is god is curiously silent about this and other atrocities great and small. Which leads me to conclude

    A: god doesn't exist and it's just us humans here on this rock.
    B: god exists but doesn't care, like an absentee father.
    C: god condones this sorta thing. Which judging by most so-called holy books I can see why people behave in such brutal and barbaric ways.

    Judging by what I've learned and experienced I conclude A is the most likely answer. Anytime I bring this up "moderate" believers dust off their NO True Scotsman fallacy and say those other guys are doing it wrong and don't represent god or the faith. The fundamentalists say the same thing about moderate or liberal believers, accusing them of being apostates and heretics. I think both groups of believers are wrong. Neither one them represents god because there is no god to represent. One of the things that makes religion so dangerous and absurd is it's malleability. It can be shaped into anything one can think of.
     
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  21. Sean

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    i was never a zealot but i come from a religious family and i grew up with the constant struggle to "be holy." But i was always horny, so when i discovered masturbation, i knew i was going to hell lol

    real talk, i am a musician and still play at churches from time to time to make extra cash. church leasership exposed me to a lot of hypocrisy and bs. That was a major turnoff from church and religion. But the other thing that drove me away from church was just being an educated, sane person going through life as an individual and as a black man in America. God and Jesus wasnt making sense when i was goung through my trials and "storms" and using bibkical passages to justify my trials and tribulations, the suffering of black folks in America and other ills in the world, offered me little comfort.

    "God" is subjective to me. hell, im still tryna figure out who he is and dont think i will ever figure that out. But i have figured out that there is a role and sometimes, a need for spirituality in ones life. Ive recognized what prayer and meditation does for ones psyche and countenance, if nothing anything else. ive also recognized a personal need to believe in something, rather than run the risk of being hopeless. im too lazy to try other religions out, so me and "God" have worked out an agreement/arrangement. Church folk would definitely accuse me cherry picking the Bible and making God convenient for me. They are right. If anyone expresses concern for my soul, i let em know they dont have anything to worry about. Me and God are good.
     
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  22. Winston Smith

    Best Site Comments The 1000 Daps Club Supporter

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    @Sean knows he’s my brother from another mother. It’s folk like him that make me, in my more sane moments, try to separate religion the ideology from religion the church folk. Many are woke, they are there for the fellowship, programs etc. I was actually at a church last Sunday. Me and one of the church mothers had a real good talk about racism in Chicago and corporate America over their dinner service.

    My beliefs will never change but I’d be willing to be like A. Phillip Randolph—-the ATHEIST who ran and organized the 1963 March on Washington (King was only the speaker NOT the organizer)—-a part of the “Nicodemus Wing” of the building if the church is woke like Calvin Butts or Jeremiah Wright and have have strong social programs for black males and the underclass, and don’t accept that homophobic old testament voodoo shit. I have yet to see handkerchief heads like Creflo Dollar or TD Jakes embrace Black Lives Matter. Damned preachers, black and white, want to claim Martin Luther Ling every January but don’t want to LIVE MLK.

    And when I discovered masturbation at age 12, I didn’t go to hell, I heard the angels sing when that first jizz shoot out my dickhead lol
     
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  23. alton

    Squad Leader The Great Debater The 1000 Daps Club

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    I totally get your point, my comment was more along the lines of your #2. GOD (IMO) is Nature. Nature is not in the business of "caring" what goes on in the world. Nature is in the business of ensuring it's perpetuation. "GOD" does not exist to look after anyone or anything. Mankind's ego has created GOD in it's current manifestation and projected this ideology that "HE" is here to protect some and destroy others. There's no "HE" or "SHE". GOD/Nature is a totally indifferent force that destroys and recreates seemingly at (in our limited perspective) random. We're not privy to nor do we need to be privy to the rhyme or reason behind it, but our ego and fragility has caused us to humanize nature in order to better 'understand' why it does what it does.
     
  24. jhaala

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    no religion. i dont believe in religion
     
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