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Why do you believe in God?


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#265 Seal (SmittyIsOurSavior)

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:05 PM

Seriously though I listen to a good bit of philosophy, science, religion lectures and debates and I have yet to hear one atheist take the stance that god definitely does NOT exist. 

 

I dunno, maybe it is just me. But it just seems like almost all of the ones I come across deny the idea.



#266 Cat

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:30 PM

I dunno, maybe it is just me. But it just seems like almost all of the ones I come across deny the idea.

 

 

I'm curious to know how deep of a conversation you've had with them. I imagine on the surface some people might think I deny the possibility simply because I think the belief is silly or because I think religion is useless. But I certainly don't deny the possibility. In the end I think anything is possible, however I require evidence to actually believe things to be true.



#267 Seal (SmittyIsOurSavior)

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:42 PM

I'm curious to know how deep of a conversation you've had with them. I imagine on the surface some people might think I deny the possibility simply because I think the belief is silly or because I think religion is useless. But I certainly don't deny the possibility. In the end I think anything is possible, however I require evidence to actually believe things to be true.

 

I mean, I can explicitly remember hearing multiple people saying something like "God does not exist" or making a joke to a religious person saying something along those same lines. 

 

It annoys me that many atheists tend to belittle people for believing in a higher power, and then talk about how "all religious people try to ram their beliefs down everyone's throats", because that's just hypocritical.



#268 Matthias

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:44 PM

Basically, it's the ability to have control over one's own environment, future, and "destiny".

God is said to be omniscient, and this poses a special problem for free will: if God knows the future, that means that the future is predictable and immutable. This, in turn, means that our actions are predetermined. We may have pondered long and hard over which action to take, but the very act of pondering is as predictable as the execution of a complex computer program.

Note that this reasoning also applies to God: if God is omniscient, then he knows what he will do, and must inevitably do what he already knows he will do.

If the above is not true, and as you said, are actions are NOT set in stone, then god is not omniscient, because he doesn't know what will happen in the future, and that is mandatory for omniscience to be present.

 

 

I believe when it comes to our choices, with them not being set in stone as I mentioned earlier, the "would" doesn't exist.  So for instance when Christians talk about free will, we usually sum it up within the choices of being with God or going your own way.  The choice hasn't been made yet for most people, most people don't even know about it if the God of the Bible is true.  People aren't born, destined to choose God or go their own way.  It wasn't settled at birth that once I reached my 14th birthday, on that day I was going to make the choice of being with God, or that day I would choose not to be with God.  The only way for an omniscient being to know what choice was going to be made before it was made, is if it was already set to be that way from the beginning.

 

 

So when it comes to our choices, they really don't have a future until one is made.  So, if you look at it this way, God knows what choices we will be presented with.  God knows the future of whatever choice we make, but the choice is ours to make.  Beyond the "making a choice" and the future beyond the choice, there is nothing for an omniscient being to know. 

 

 

On a little bit of an aside, when christians say God knows the future, they generally probably do mean God knows what choices we are going to make.  Yet that is not accurate.  God can see or know our thoughts, so from that alone He could "guess" what action we will take in the future.  God Himself does things, so for instance if a prophet in the Bible said something would happen later on and it happened, of course it happened because it was God who did it.  So that's another way for God to know the future, yet the choices we make aren't set.  In that case, there is nothing to truly know.  Later on I'll give you some examples in the Bible that shows God did not know what man "would" do. (Also, with all that said, if you come to agree with me on my reasoning yet say that makes God not omniscient, then I'll accept that understanding.  Not that I would say God isn't omniscient, but that I would accept you saying He's not.  And lastly, God has new thoughts all the time.  So He does not know everything He will do, and His choices aren't set either.  That is to say, He may create something else after this age, just like an inventor making new things)

 

 

 

 

Do you have internal battles with yourself over your beliefs being that we know for an absolute fact genesis could not be true?

 

 

 

There's definitely conflict just by looking at things.  The observations we have definitely goes against a lot of things written in Genesis.  Yet, I don't see Genesis as most see it.  For me, there's still much to study concerning what it says.  I'm of the belief that Genesis couldn't be fully understood until this scientific age we are living in.  Ultimately, I have reason to keep looking into this thing.  I'm in the process of hypothesizing on aspects concerning Genesis, and later experimenting with them. 

 

 

With that, many say that is not science.  Science is about observing the world around us, and forming hypothesis from those observation.  Well, I totally agree with that.  What I'm doing is definitely different.  I believe that if God exist, and He gave us an account that told us things that happened since the beginning of time until now, I should be able to take that account and verify many more things than simply observing the world as it is today.  Science is limited to our observations.  What I'm doing is working with an account that tells of things that are no longer observable.  So I should come up with even better theories than science can give us in a way.  So you have the practice called science, but what I'm working would be a super science.  I would coin it as "omniscience". (Working with an origin account and observation of the world)  That's how I see things right now.



#269 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

Not that I expect it to ever happen, but if a supernatural being is found to exist, I hope it is not the god described in the Bible.  

 

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. - Richard Dawkins  See more at: http://commonsenseat...h.bXnFjjFU.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

 



#270 Cat

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:18 PM

I mean, I can explicitly remember hearing multiple people saying something like "God does not exist" or making a joke to a religious person saying something along those same lines.

It annoys me that many atheists tend to belittle people for believing in a higher power, and then talk about how "all religious people try to ram their beliefs down everyone's throats", because that's just hypocritical.


Interesting

Irl the atheist I know are more concerned and apprehensive regarding their beliefs. Maybe its a different generation. Do u liven in n the south?

#271 Seal (SmittyIsOurSavior)

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:24 PM

Interesting

Irl the atheist I know are more concerned and apprehensive regarding their beliefs. Maybe its a different generation. Do u liven in n the south?

 

Yeah, I've lived in NC my entire life. I'm at UNC right now though, so it is pretty liberal. And I'm 19, so it could also be generational. 



#272 PantherGuy

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:13 PM

One of two reasons.

A: Mommy and daddy forced religion down their throat from infancy to adulthood and drug them to church until it was embedded in their brain.

B: They "found Jesus" whether life was a wreck. Religion is a great self-esteem booster when you're broke, lonely, in jail, etc.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

It's true that Christianity gives those who are down and out hope. But I'd argue as a Christian that if anything, Christianity is the opposite of a self-esteem booster. A central Christian doctrine is that you are irreparably separated from God, and nothing you can do could fix that. You must rely on Jesus to bridge the gap between you and God in order to be saved. 

 

I don't see how that constitutes a self-esteem booster.

 

As for the part about Mommy and Daddy forcing religion down the throat from infancy, I don't recall that happening for me. My dad gave up Christianity long before I was born, and while my mom took me and my brother to church when we were young, I think she did that just to expose us to it. When we got older, my brother stopped going to church, and I didn't. My mom didn't try to sway us toward Christianity or away from it. She let us make our own decisions.

 

The difference in the way we reacted to Christianity despite us both being exposed to it suggests to me that your first point may not always be true.



#273 PantherGuy

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:21 PM

This won't turn out well.

I'm a Christian and some days I believe in something greater other days not so much. I don't practice out of fear or uncertainty but because I think Jesus truly led the kind of life we should model ourselves after. If in the end I'm wrong I'll still be ok with it as I work to make a positive impact in a Christ like manner

 

Amen.



#274 PantherGuy

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:32 PM

i use to think that something can't come from nothing so i thought that at the very least there was a creator. Then somebody asked me to give an example of what nothing was. That stumped me. So i honestly have no fuging idea. I think i'm a good person though so when i die if something crazy does happen like heaven or a God is in front of "me", i think i will be ok. if not fug it.

 

Defining "nothing" is a very intriguing question. I think that true nothingness might be beyond human comprehensive ability. I often try to think about what it would be like for there to be just nothing, and I just can't fathom it.

 

I'm a Christian, and when I think about nothingness, I also try to imagine how God existed before the world existed. It's beyond my imagination.

 

Just my two cents.



#275 PantherGuy

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:47 PM

random thoughts:

 

if there is a god i'm pretty sure we've either pissed it off or it just doesn't care, but either way it's hard for me to swallow the claims of any of the monotheistic religions or anything claiming divine revelation/personal relationships.

 

regarding religion, i'm currently interested in exploring religious functionalism - that is, the actual, structural, real-world purpose belief in a deity serves individuals who subscribe to it, serving to elevate its power (for either good or bad depending on how you use/view it.)

 

in the past five years i have undergone significant transformation in my belief systems, adjusting from a methodology of accepting or rejecting data based on my predetermined conclusion to building up as much data as possible, analyzing each bit objectively, and building my worldview on it, modifying it as i intake data that swings me to one direction or another, constantly pursuing it so as to build the most educated, intelligent one possible. the constantly-changing nature of this sort of thing, especially when juxtaposed against my social context of bazillions of fundamentalist christians, makes it a sort of perilous, uncomfortable existence, and i recognize that it would be much easier to reject critical thought and "just believe" as was implored to me by a friend who told me that archaeology is hocus-pocus devil's work and radiocarbon dating is faulty because it says so on answersingenesis.com... but it's not something i can do with any sort of intellectual honesty. once that crack has formed there's no gluing it back together again.

 

i would probably describe myself as post-theist. j.s. spong does a fine job of outlining a synthesis between the rejection of literal elements of the christian creed which cannot be accepted as individual, case-by-case isolated events with any seriousness and posits a post-theism wherein god is not something that can be believed or disbelieved any more than we can believe or disbelieve wind or love or our existence, for if god is god to the extent that godness allows then the god which an atheist disbelieves is not god at all, but a limited culturally-framed, filtered, and constructed god whose reachability is defined accordingly. if you are interested in finding a way to reconcile logical faults in structural christianity and the fact that the teachings of jesus christ have life-giving, world-changing potential and determining a way to make the best of the one in spite of the other without rejecting them both wholesale i recommend giving spong more than a cursory glance.

 

i have many more random thoughts but those are a few

 

I'm a Christian, but I'm curious if you've found something like this.