What does your religion do for you?
Over the years, I have gradually stopped (except for rare occasions) trying to argue with people about the validity or sense of their religion. In my experience, this never is productive. It is mostly an exercise in letting loose my inner attack dog. It’s a small dog, but every once in a while, he does get loose.
I have found it much more interesting to find out from people what their religious beliefs do for them. I have found that when I do this, there is more commonality than difference. It’s just that I do similar things in different ways. The major difference seems to be in the need to proselytize. Even then, maybe we are similar. Sometimes I want to proselytize and other times I don’t need to. I’m not sure what causes the change. Maybe it’s just a need for entertainment, since I know proselytizing makes no difference.
I really want people to stick to the subject of what they get out of religion. I don’t want anyone to argue with anyone about this. There is no right and wrong about feelings. You feel what you feel and no one should tell you otherwise (although if your religion wants to argue with feelings and that helps you, then let us know).
But this is personal, not argumentative. Be specific. How does your religion help you? Has it saved your life? If so, how? What was the circumstance. Has it given you a connection with the numinous? If so, how? What were the circumstances of this experience? Please don’t tell us what happened. Show us!
For example, please don’t say “I felt God.” Show us what you felt. Was it in your chest? Your head? Was it a buzzing? A knowing? Did you feel full? Or were your insides pulled out? Was it like being run over by a truck? Or a giant marshmallow? I’m not making fun—I’m just trying to give examples of images that will get to the feeling more than an interpretive word like “God” which means very different things to different people.
In fact, I will ban words from answers such as “god,” “soul,” “spirit,” “jesus” (or any other name of a deity), or words that are names or interpretations. I want experience, not interpretation.
Sorry for being so long. It’s important for me to frame this question in such a way that I can understand. I feel pretty stupid sometimes because I never had religion growing up and I have little experience. So treat me as a young child—very naive—who wants to understand what you feel and what that does for you.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.