Does anyone actually still believe in God?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_HappyHammer1977, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. B_HappyHammer1977

    B_HappyHammer1977 New Member

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    Ok, a veritable hornets nest could well brew here!

    Does anyone actually, really, still believe in God and/or 'a higher being'?

    I ask, simply because it amazes me that with billions and billions of years of conclusive evidence to prove that a god just does not exist, millions of people still put their faith a book and a feeling.

    Is it 'filling a hole'?
    Is it fear of not going to heaven?
    Is it brainwashing?
    Is it all of the above?
     
  2. Imported

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    orionsword57: God/religion has been defined by Irwin Goodenough as man's attempt to explain the unexplainable. I'm not sure the definitions people do make for God totally resonate with me, but I do not subscribe to a theory that we're here by pure accident. That may be saying the God wins by default, but I don't think so. There has been too much syncronisity in my life once I accepted a sense of all of us being part of one big family, which God orchestrates, for me to reject that there is a higher power.

    A lot of jibberish, to be sure....
     
  3. Dorset

    Dorset New Member

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    I do

    I have faith, I try never to push my belief onto others though, however I find that athiests like you can't help but try and push your beliefs onto me - what's that all about?

    Why not just accept that I have an opinion and whether you like it or not it is just as valid as anyone elses

    p.s. There is not billions of years of proof against God, have you never heard of 'the missing link'? Even the evolutionary theory has a massive flaw that has never been explained

    Plus, if evolution happened and animals did develop into humans then scientists are still unable to explain why cells suddenly change and develop into new animals and species. This might indicate that evolution was planned and therefore needed a higher power to mastermind it.

    (not my belief but there are a growing number of people who do, including scientists I might add)

    I can see this now being brought up so I'll answer it now - Evolution has taken place over Billions of years which is of course very slow. However the transitional period between one animal transforming, e.g. growing legs, always takes place in 1 or 2 generations at most. It is almost instant in evolutionary terms- that sounds like it could be a well managed project to me
     
  4. Dorset

    Dorset New Member

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    I think this post illustrates a point I made in another post as well

    The people on here who want to come across as being 'free thinkers' are often far more closed minded than everyone else

    Why assume that as you don't believe in God everyone who does must be either 'filling a hole' or been 'brainwashed'?
     
  5. B_HappyHammer1977

    B_HappyHammer1977 New Member

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    First of all I wasn't pushing my beliefs. I'm of the opinion that one of the best qualities a man can have is to admit that he is wrong.

    I'm not even 100% about the whole evolution thing - I mean, the Big Bang - I don't buy it! Once there was nothing, then all of a sudden there was something? For there to be an explosion there has to be something to explode!

    In the same way about Genesis - I mean, come on! The Bible is obviously, in my opinion anyway, an ancient way of keeping the masses at bay! Put, literally, 'the fear of God' in them and they'll tow the line.
     
  6. Dorset

    Dorset New Member

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    You have to remember that Genesis was written by Prophets, they may well have also been writing in a symbolic way to make it easy for the masses to understand.

    For example, if they thought there was a big bang created by a higher power they may well have explained it in a simple way to people by saying that God created the heavens and the earth rather than trying to convince them of the existence of anti-matter
     
  7. B_HappyHammer1977

    B_HappyHammer1977 New Member

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    But we led to believe that Bible is the word of God.
    To say 'I think what God meant to say is...' is a bit presumptuous and surely blasphemous in it's self?

    (little bit of Bill Hicks there!)
     
  8. DC_DEEP

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    Dorset, you are perhaps the exception to the rule, except for one fact - in more than one of your posts I have read so far (this and other topics) you are also lumping together those who have views differing from your own. I am not a believer (and don't call myself "atheist" either, as I have seen too many who make atheism their religion...) more on that after the next quote...

    I like to think of myself as a "free thinker", but I also like to think of myself as open-minded. I'm glad you have faith, there are times when I actually wish I did. But if I concede your right to believe as you choose, will you also concede my right NOT to believe? Even though HappyHammer and I are both non-believers, that still does not mean his views are representative of mine.

    <!--QuoteBegin-HappyHammer1977
    @Oct 20 2005, 12:10 PM
    The Bible is obviously, in my opinion anyway, an ancient way of keeping the masses at bay&#33; Put, literally, &#39;the fear of God&#39; in them and they&#39;ll tow the line.
    [post=353542]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/quote]
    I agree to some extent, but my opinion of the bible is not binding upon Dorset. There is a lot of good material in the bible, and a lot of bad, too. The admonishment to "Love one another" is not such a bad idea, nor is "Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone." On the other hand, encouraging one to "smite thine enemy", to me, smacks of less-than-divine inspiration.

    One of the problems I have with the very vocal believers is their insistence that I conform to their religious laws (again, Dorset, you may be the exception). Add to that the ones who like to pick and choose the mandates in the bible that they follow, as it suits their needs. That, in and of itself, seems blasphemous to me. If someone quotes Leviticus to justify condemning me, I expect them to follow the letter of the law throughout Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Most do not. If someone quotes New Testament to justify condemning me, the implicit expectation is that they are christian, in which case I expect them to focus on the words of christ, and not those of paul. Most, again, do not. I have NEVER asked anyone to renounce their faith, I have NEVER tried to prevent anyone from praying or worshipping as they choose. If a person&#39;s religion/faith requires him to make decisions for himself, that&#39;s fine. If it requires him to make decisions for me, I have a problem with it.
     
  9. Dorset

    Dorset New Member

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    You&#39;re quite right and most Christian leaders would bite my head off for suggesting such a thing but you have to believe what your heart tells you and I don&#39;t think that the Bible is word for word the exact truth.

    Jesus himself spoke in parable&#39;s so why is it so hard to believe that his father gave his message as a parable?
     
  10. B_HappyHammer1977

    B_HappyHammer1977 New Member

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    I would like to believe in God and am fascinated by the subject.

    The only problem is that I am a fact junky&#33; If it looks like shit, smells like shit and tastes like shit, it must be shit&#33; (Big question there is why am I tasting shit?&#33;)

    I love the idea of heaven and the whole seeing your loved ones when they die.

    But here&#39;s another little thing for ya;

    Imagine how long eternity would look on a ruler. Now imagine, in comparison to eternity, how long your life is. Are you telling me that God (or is it St.Peter?) will condem me to hell to something that I did in that time span?
     
  11. DC_DEEP

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    Hahah, only if you contradict the pope. Just kidding. Are there sins worthy of eternal damnation? I would say yes. Do other sins deserve just a slap on the wrist? Probably. It would be harsh punishment for, say, stealing a candy bar when you were a kid. But in my most humble opinion, three eternities of damnation are not punishment enough for rape, or for being a suicide bomber. Yah, I know, situational ethics.
     
  12. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    I believe in God, but it is not blind faith that I possess. I have studied religion, and if I ever had any doubts, my two years in the seminary took care of those.

    I also believe in evolution. Pope John Paul II himself declared that evolution and Christianity are not imcompatible.

    What about the Bible? I accept the Bible as a text of spiritual truth. It was not meant to be a history book, so it should not be consulted as an authority of what literally took place. What is important in the Genesis account(s) of the cosmogeny is that God is responsible for the creation of the world, not for the details of how He did it. The Bible is about the underlying belief, not the nuts and bolts.

    I feel that it a most un-Christian approach to expect everyone to conform to anyone else&#39;s religious beliefs. My faith is my own. It is a great disrespect not to allow others to have their own beliefs. I am a Christian, but I respect your right not to be.
     
  13. D_Cliebert_Chodechoker

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    What evidence is that. Ive never heard any conclusive evidence that God doesnt ixsist. Niw i also dont think you their is a way to have conclusive evidence about weather God exsists or he doesnt thats where faith comes into place. Im curious to what u will say bc i fully believe in God and all of his graces.
     
  14. DC_DEEP

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    And there is nothing wrong with that. Will anyone on EITHER side explain to me (excluding enforcement on others) why there is such animosity on the issue? Why is it SO important to some people to force others to share their beliefs? The only explanation I can fathom is that they are not secure enough in their own values, and feel compelled to get validation from without, rather than from within. Comments?
     
  15. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I&#39;m a believer. As a Christian I also have faith in the divinity of Christ and the Father. Satan himself believes in their power but he lacks the faith, still belaboring under the mistaken delusion that he will win the battle of Good and Evil in the end.

    Sure, I&#39;ll proselytize, but only if you ask me to. In the meantime I stand ready to answer when the Creator calls and I find great comfort in his forgiveness (of which I am in constant need.)

    Believe as you will. It is not my place to judge, thank God.
     
  16. Shelby

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    To simplify conversation when asked I say I&#39;m an atheist. However, that doesn&#39;t mean I can explain everything. If forced to define what God means to me I would say "all that is incomprehensible." So I don&#39;t know if the atheist label fits.

    I do know for sure that I don&#39;t buy any of the popular concepts.
     
  17. GottaBigOne

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    Interesting thing I saw on EWTN(Eternal World Television Network): It was a kid&#39;s show about angels, and there was a "fairy tale" in the begining about the war in heaven between Lucifer and the arch angel Michael. I will paraphrase: Int he begining there was God who was perfect and happy, but all alone, so he wanted to create beings to share his love with. (How one can be perfectly happy and also desire something is contradictory to me anyway, either he was perfectly happy alone, or he wasn&#39;t perfectly happy because he needed companions). So god creates the angels, millions of them to keep him company. There was one angel who was superior to all the rest, his name was Lucifer. God wanted to know if all the angels loved him or loved themselves, so he asked all of them one by one. When he got to lucifer, lucifer said that he loved himself more than god, and would not serve him, some angels saw this and took lucifers lead and joined him in loving themsleves and not god. The arch angel Michael saw this also and did not like it, and with God&#39;s assistance started a war in hevaen and cast all the "self-loving" angels into the underworld.

    A few things:
    First: How insecure is God that he needs to ask his creations if they love him or not, also making a choice between loving Him and loving themselves. WHy can&#39;t they love both? Why does loving God mean that you have to totally negate yourself?
    Second: What kind of love does God want? If given the choice between being cast out of heaven and faking loving god, how many angels simply lied to God? Does he want that kind of fake love?
    Third: Is Love something that can be chosen? If one does not love god for any reason, is there really a choice to be made, and if it isnt a choice, is it punishable? DOesn&#39;t the fact of my love for god rest on god? Why should one be punished for not loving a god that is for whatever reason unworthy of it? Wouldn&#39;t the best solution not be to cast the unlovers from heaven but getting at the root of why they don&#39;t and solving that? It seems that god created the angels so that they could inflate his ego and nothing more, that kind of diety gets no respect from me.
    Fourth: I admire Lucifer much more than Michael. Lucifer has values, he realizes that simply being the creator does not automatically give God the right to being loved. He understands real logical justice, and that the self is the most important thing to anyone, without the self, there is nothing more. The self is the irriducible primary of anyones world, it is the essence of their personal experience. Without loving one&#39;s self, there can be no possibility to love another. And loving another is not something that can be commanded, love comes from a reaction to certain values, it is not a cause, it is an effect. And when the cause is missing, then faking the effect is totally empty. Maybe Michael and the rest of the angels on his side really did love god, maybe they didn&#39;t. I certainly don&#39;t believe anyone could love another is it meant the total renunciation of themsleves.


    I am an atheist in the most general sense. Some people do treat it as a religion. I am not one of those. My religion is truth, logic, science. Atheism just fits into that. It is an effect, not a cause. I do not hold a strong belief that No god exists. I think its unlikely that oen does, very unlikeyl, it is a leap of faith for me to say that one definately does not. I am not comfortable with leaps of faith.

    In my opinion, all religion and spirituality stems from man&#39;s uneasiness with not understanding the world, his own existence, and the complex nature of the universe. It is the same mentality that attributed lightning to Zues, and viruses and bacteria to "demons". But these cases are just surface symptoms opf a much more deep unease. Because even when science has given a natural explanation to these things there are still some question whcih science can never fully answer. The origin of the universe; is consciousness a soul; what heppens when we die; etc. Even though science can provide some tentative answers to these questions they are not usually what people are looking for or what they want. People don&#39;t want to hear an explanation that makes it seem like the universe was an "accident" or that our consciousnesses are the result of millions of neurons working together and is basically a product of matter, because matter is not infinite, and we don&#39;t want to be, at least I dont want to be finite. Primitive man didn&#39;t want to face a world where good people were stricken down with natural disaster, or that bad people could have good luck. they craved justice from the universe and when they didnt get it they created it. If a seemingly good man was hit by lightning, then there must have been something the lightning maker didnt like about him. "What didn&#39;t the lightning maker like?" Someone would ask. "I dunno, he was a masturbator, I guess. The lightning maker doesn&#39;t like masturbators." "BNut we all masturbate&#33;" "I know. Thats why we have to make sacrifices to the lightingmaker so that he wont strike us down as well. We have to pray harder to appease this God or else he&#39;ll cause another hurricane to drown us out, or another earthquake."
    Gods were used to expain natural phenomenon, and when natural phenomenon which does not take humans intoi account was seen as unjust, justice was skewed in order to excuse the gods that were thought to be responisble for the phenomena.
    This primitive view has persisted for many reasons. Brainwashing is one, but that unese is still there as well. who wants to believe that when they die, they will be no more? Who wants to believe that in the end, Hitler and Mother Teresa enjoy the same fate? IS that fair? No. But maybe the truth is that the universe is not fair, it is not concerned with human existence. The world doesn&#39;t revolve around us, we are insignificant to the universe. Who the fuck wants to live their life believing that? I do because I believe it is true, and truth trumps all other things. I would rather have a sad truth than a happy lie. Most other people don&#39;t.
     
  18. DC_DEEP

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    Caught you there. Looks like I will be forced to first excommunicate you, then burn you at the stake, you heretic. Next thing I know, you&#39;ll be claiming that the Earth is round and revolves around the Sun, instead of being the flat center of the universe.

    Good points, as usual, GBO.
     
  19. madame_zora

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    GBO, That was an amazing post and you brought up several fascinating points for me.

    A few things:
    First: How insecure is God that he needs to ask his creations if they love him or not, also making a choice between loving Him and loving themselves. WHy can&#39;t they love both? Why does loving God mean that you have to totally negate yourself?


    Why should we have to negate ourselves? What is the historical significance of said?
    To me, the story of God casting out Lucifer is a clear demonstration to any would-be objectors of their impending fate should they ever dissent. This seems to have obviously come from Men, not God. Please be advised (everyone) that this and everything else I&#39;m about to post is only my own OPINION. If I too am a creature of God, why would I not hold myself in the same esteem as all other living things?

    Second: What kind of love does God want? If given the choice between being cast out of heaven and faking loving god, how many angels simply lied to God? Does he want that kind of fake love?

    Always a stuck point for me as well. What kind of weak diety would want nodding heads? Everyone knows you can&#39;t force love or alleigance. Threaten someone with the withdrawal of a priveledge like eternal life and they&#39;ll likely agree to almost anything.


    Third: Is Love something that can be chosen? If one does not love god for any reason, is there really a choice to be made, and if it isnt a choice, is it punishable? DOesn&#39;t the fact of my love for god rest on god? Why should one be punished for not loving a god that is for whatever reason unworthy of it? Wouldn&#39;t the best solution not be to cast the unlovers from heaven but getting at the root of why they don&#39;t and solving that? It seems that god created the angels so that they could inflate his ego and nothing more, that kind of diety gets no respect from me.


    Again, this simply doesn&#39;t pass the smell test. This simply says, "Don&#39;t question authority, not ever, or you suck." Parents do wrong things sometimes, teachers do, politicians do. Priests and people in all sorts of position of authority must be questioned lest we tender to them a degree of trust not warranted by their behavior (&#33;). Even God? I don&#39;t know. I DO know that there is no MAN&#39;S version of God that I accept wholesale. The fact that God has been represented very badly by man does not prove his non-existance to me, it only proves the fallibility of man to describe his ideas. Blind followers of any ideal lend nothing to it&#39;s realism.

    Fourth: I admire Lucifer much more than Michael. Lucifer has values, he realizes that simply being the creator does not automatically give God the right to being loved. He understands real logical justice, and that the self is the most important thing to anyone, without the self, there is nothing more. The self is the irriducible primary of anyones world, it is the essence of their personal experience. Without loving one&#39;s self, there can be no possibility to love another. And loving another is not something that can be commanded, love comes from a reaction to certain values, it is not a cause, it is an effect. And when the cause is missing, then faking the effect is totally empty. Maybe Michael and the rest of the angels on his side really did love god, maybe they didn&#39;t. I certainly don&#39;t believe anyone could love another is it meant the total renunciation of themsleves.

    I do understand that you are saying "If this happened at all, this is my reaction", but I am unable to comment on this at all because I see the whole thing as allegorical. The whole reason why for many, religion and agnosticism or atheism seem diametrically opposed is in the reverence for or admonishment of self. Those who believe in the denial of self will always see those who believe in the reverence of self as sinners and hedonists. Those who see self-love as a sign of evolution and clarity will see those in self-denial as retarded socially or given to mythology.


    In my opinion, all religion and spirituality stems from man&#39;s uneasiness with not understanding the world, his own existence, and the complex nature of the universe.

    Yes, we have a winner&#33; The more one researches what was going on in the world during the time when their own religion was in it&#39;s "formative years", the more one must accept this undeniable truth.

    who wants to believe that when they die, they will be no more? Who wants to believe that in the end, Hitler and Mother Teresa enjoy the same fate? IS that fair? No. But maybe the truth is that the universe is not fair, it is not concerned with human existence. The world doesn&#39;t revolve around us, we are insignificant to the universe. Who the fuck wants to live their life believing that? I do because I believe it is true, and truth trumps all other things. I would rather have a sad truth than a happy lie. Most other people don&#39;t.


    Here is where I just begin to understand religion. That we share a common bond of sorts seems obvious. Most people share the understanding of concepts like "truth" and "fairness" even though we disagree about what these things entail. We share the knowledge of "judgement" and "responsibility" as well as what it means to lie and steal. In our inability to reconcile concepts like "injustice" and "why bad things happen to good people" which violates our sense of fairness, we insert religion. Once again, just my opinion, but it seems history bears this out.

    How frequently throughout history has religion been brought out to "end all debate" about what is and is not real? Nothing is more absurd to me than the flat assertion that one set of mythologies is obviously true and far superior to all other sets of mythologies. Even the belief that all mythologies are definitely untrue based on the flaws contained therein seems a stretch for me. I have no idea what the truth is, so I leave room for any eventuality to be proven right, in the mean time I don&#39;t give a fuck. What I DO know is that the Iquisition was wrong, the Salem Witch trials were wrong, every war waged in the name of God was wrong, and trotting out God as a figurehead to advance a political agenda is wrong. Poor God, he really doesn&#39;t get to answer for himself now that he has so many translators, now does he?

    Further, hatred of our brothers is wrong, judgement based on superficiality is wrong, minding other people&#39;s business is wrong, and anyone arguing for their right to mind MY business is stupid and foolhardy. I won&#39;t give any credibility to a non-credible viewpoint, or I&#39;d be as batshit insane as they are. Not my problem. Having an opinion doesn&#39;t make one worthy of respect&#33;

    God either is or is not. If God IS, then he IS God, which would indicate to me that He is not riddled with insecurities and can handle my questions. If He is not, then my questions are not trivial.
     
  20. Dorset

    Dorset New Member

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    I know I&#39;m quoting 2 seperate people below but there are a few points I can hopefully help with. There were big knowledge gaps in some of your posts

    The basic message though is that your welcome to your views but you have no right to patronise or riddicule Christians just because you think they&#39;re wrong - a boundary that was crossed a few times here

     
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