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A good question


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:05 PM

A good question
(Is faith in God absurd?)



A friend of mine who is an agnostic asked me this question. “Mark, don’t you really think that belief in God is absurd (?)…..come on really think about it”! I have had this asked me more than once. The first time I was so surprised that I could not respond. However it did open up avenues for me to mediate on. So I responded in this fashion to my friend: “Yes I said there are times when the thought of God seems absurd to me. Then I think of a world without God, and then it is even more absurd”.

We live in a world where on some level, we never really know, so we think, ponder and for those who believe and perhaps for some who don’t, we pray. It is in the search that I believe that faith grows. I also believe that faith is a gift that needs to be tended to, watered and time spent in study. Everyone has there own way of doing this. Angry atheist or enraged believers of any path can come across as not being all that sure of themselves; just an opinion here. Why get angry if others believe or think differently, nothing is changed by venting, in fact it only makes matters worse. I choose faith and yes, at times the uncertainty that comes with that. I have a feeling that no one is ever really free of it. Though faith and doubt can grow, it is just depends on what path we wish to give our attention to.

Edited by markdohle, 29 October 2013 - 10:14 PM.


#2    Almagest

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:52 PM

I have pondered the absurdity of both a theistic and an atheistic universe before.

For the former the questions usually are; "What caused God?" "If there is a God, why would he make such a wasteful universe?" "If God intervenes in our affairs, why does it seem to be in such trivial matters?"

For the latter the questions are; "What caused the Big Bang?" "What is the source of natural laws and are they fine tuned?" "Is there such a thing as justice in a purely mechanical universe?"

I think regardless of your position on faith or faithlessness, the most important thing is to keep asking questions of yourself and others. Frankly I find people with absolute certainty about things to be either intolerably arrogant or downright dangerous.

Would you say that some of your opinions and beliefs are different to what they were this time last year?

Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue. - David Hume

#3    markdohle

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:14 PM

View PostAlmagest, on 29 October 2013 - 10:52 PM, said:

I have pondered the absurdity of both a theistic and an atheistic universe before.

For the former the questions usually are; "What caused God?" "If there is a God, why would he make such a wasteful universe?" "If God intervenes in our affairs, why does it seem to be in such trivial matters?"

For the latter the questions are; "What caused the Big Bang?" "What is the source of natural laws and are they fine tuned?" "Is there such a thing as justice in a purely mechanical universe?"

I think regardless of your position on faith or faithlessness, the most important thing is to keep asking questions of yourself and others. Frankly I find people with absolute certainty about things to be either intolerably arrogant or downright dangerous.

Would you say that some of your opinions and beliefs are different to what they were this time last year?

I think the mystery of the Christian path is always expanding for me, broadening out, so in that sense, I would say yes.  Good comment,thank you very much for spending the time sharing this.

peace
mark


#4    Labyrinthus

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:19 AM

View PostAlmagest, on 29 October 2013 - 10:52 PM, said:

I have pondered the absurdity of both a theistic and an atheistic universe before.

For the former the questions usually are; "What caused God?" "If there is a God, why would he make such a wasteful universe?" "If God intervenes in our affairs, why does it seem to be in such trivial matters?"

For the latter the questions are; "What caused the Big Bang?" "What is the source of natural laws and are they fine tuned?" "Is there such a thing as justice in a purely mechanical universe?"

For all the atheists who want a scientific viewpoint to answer these questions I recommend the free googlebooks download;

My Big TOE by Thomas Campbell. (Physics professor - answers these and many other common questions)

Edited by Labyrinthus, 31 October 2013 - 12:19 AM.


#5    ambelamba

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:44 AM

How do we define God first? Some lardy slob sitting in his couch with his old laptop, where our universe is located, right next to a half-eaten pizza while his mom is yelling his names?


#6    Mr. Miyagi

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:19 PM

I'm late to the party here but, these type discussions can't result in a "winner" or "loser" in my opinion, but hopefully they can result in an understanding of one another's views on the subject. From an Atheist point of view, and I'm being overly simplistic here which after the discussion i was just involved in you'd think I'd learn my lesson but... here goes... From an Atheist point of view, your faith in a god is absurd. Were such a being real, one would not need to have faith that a god was real. As Ambelamba mentioned satirically, what is god? Not what god did or will do, but what is god? Were such a being real, you could have faith that this being had done or will do whatever is written in the scriptures of whatever faith the believer follows, but but for an atheist, that is absurd without knowledge that such a being exists. This is also similar to my point of view, although I'm not a hard atheist. I don't like to apply labels to my views but for the sake of conversation we'll say I identify as a Buddhist. I can understand how a person can look at the world and on the surface feel that there is indeed a creator behind this. I get that. I understand it. However, I don't agree with it. That understanding though prevents me from calling your faith absurd.

Nice post!

Edited by Mr. Miyagi, 31 October 2013 - 05:24 PM.


#7    spartan max2

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:34 PM

Its because belief and disbelief both seem absurd that I am a agnostic. Some things our human mind just can't comprehend

" I imagine that the intellegent people are the ones so intellegent that they dont even need or want to look "intellegent" anymore".
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#8    J. K.

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:05 PM

View PostMr. Miyagi, on 31 October 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

...From an Atheist point of view, your faith in a god is absurd. Were such a being real, one would not need to have faith that a god was real....

Faith and belief aren't always blind.  I believe (accept as fact) that God exists.  I have faith (confidence) in His presence in my life.  This faith and belief arise from past experiences which I perceive to be His working.  

Could I be wrong?  Sure, that's possible.  But for now I think that I am right.  

Do I accept that others do not share my ideology?  Of course, and I won't deny them that.  All I ask is that you realize that, according to my perception, I have legitimate reasons for my position.  

It's possible to discuss a topic regardless of its fictional/non-fictional status.  I've never seen a unicorn and I doubt their existence, but I know how to describe one.

Edited by J. K., 31 October 2013 - 06:06 PM.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#9    GreenmansGod

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:22 PM

I agree with Mr. Miyagi and Ambelamba first define god?  You mean the god who wanted Abraham to kill his son,  the god who died on the cross, the spirit of nature or the universe?

"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it."  Galadriel

#10    pallidin

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:49 PM

I choose to believe in a God. But that's my belief. I have no "evidence", yet could never be turned in to an atheist.

But that's the way I rock and roll.


#11    pallidin

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:09 PM

This song has several interpretations(POW psychological torture, extreme disonance with one's sense of spirituality), but I feel is relevant...

"Jesus" can be substituded for your preferance.




#12    markdohle

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:20 PM

View PostMr. Miyagi, on 31 October 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

I'm late to the party here but, these type discussions can't result in a "winner" or "loser" in my opinion, but hopefully they can result in an understanding of one another's views on the subject. From an Atheist point of view, and I'm being overly simplistic here which after the discussion i was just involved in you'd think I'd learn my lesson but... here goes... From an Atheist point of view, your faith in a god is absurd. Were such a being real, one would not need to have faith that a god was real. As Ambelamba mentioned satirically, what is god? Not what god did or will do, but what is god? Were such a being real, you could have faith that this being had done or will do whatever is written in the scriptures of whatever faith the believer follows, but but for an atheist, that is absurd without knowledge that such a being exists. This is also similar to my point of view, although I'm not a hard atheist. I don't like to apply labels to my views but for the sake of conversation we'll say I identify as a Buddhist. I can understand how a person can look at the world and on the surface feel that there is indeed a creator behind this. I get that. I understand it. However, I don't agree with it. That understanding though prevents me from calling your faith absurd.

Nice post!

Thank you, always a pleasure to read your well thought out and sane post.  I would say first of all, that God is not a being, since being seems to point to boundaries and contingency.

Peace
Mark


#13    markdohle

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:22 PM

View PostGreenmansGod, on 31 October 2013 - 06:22 PM, said:

I agree with Mr. Miyagi and Ambelamba first define god?  You mean the god who wanted Abraham to kill his son,  the god who died on the cross, the spirit of nature or the universe?

Perhaps all off the above as well as none.

Peace
Mark


#14    Sherapy

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:47 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 29 October 2013 - 10:05 PM, said:

A good question
(Is faith in God absurd?)



A friend of mine who is an agnostic asked me this question. “Mark, don’t you really think that belief in God is absurd (?)…..come on really think about it”! I have had this asked me more than once. The first time I was so surprised that I could not respond. However it did open up avenues for me to mediate on. So I responded in this fashion to my friend: “Yes I said there are times when the thought of God seems absurd to me. Then I think of a world without God, and then it is even more absurd”.

We live in a world where on some level, we never really know, so we think, ponder and for those who believe and perhaps for some who don’t, we pray. It is in the search that I believe that faith grows. I also believe that faith is a gift that needs to be tended to, watered and time spent in study. Everyone has there own way of doing this. Angry atheist or enraged believers of any path can come across as not being all that sure of themselves; just an opinion here. Why get angry if others believe or think differently, nothing is changed by venting, in fact it only makes matters worse. I choose faith and yes, at times the uncertainty that comes with that. I have a feeling that no one is ever really free of it. Though faith and doubt can grow, it is just depends on what path we wish to give our attention to.
I do not think a belief in g-d is absurd, I equally do not think that if one doesn't believe in g-d that is absurd either. I think it boils down to what works best for the person, At the end of the day that is the only thing I'd care about.


#15    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:54 PM

After the holocaust, faith in "god" is beyond absurd to me.

2 Thessalonians 2:11
So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies




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