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LiveForChrist1

How many of you do and don't believe in God?

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I believe in god but i definitely see where being agnostic can cone from, does it really matter what we believe so long as were good people?

If you ask ten different people what it meant to be "good", you'd get ten different answers. And if God exists the question turns to whether God has a measuring stick, in which case the question becomes "how good is good enough".

Certainly I agree with your premise - living a life that helps others rather than hurts them. But I don't think it's that simple when it comes to a coverall statement such as the one you made. That's just my opinion though.

~ Regards, PA

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I think the probability is very low that there is a God that sits up in a place called heaven and judges us and is in control of everything. I believe we ultimately have control over our own lives and we have free will...we can achieve great things if we work together. That doesn't mean I don't believe in a creator....I actually think that is quite possible but our creator would be like our scientists today. Or that there isn't something more to life than science.....I like to see people step outside the box on this subject.

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Or how about a god who only cares about one particular nation? As we evolve our minds and spirits evolve. Compared to a nation we are small, compared to the planet even smaller, compared to a universe? But we, with our little minds still contemplate "him"... he hasnt changed but we are constantly changing. If we say "I believe" what are we striving for? What is the significance of knowing god???

Shadowhive these questions arent for you I was just inspired by your post... although I have to say I dont agree that god is not interested in our race... I think he's interested in our race as a whole and each of us individually as well.

I don't see why a god would care about anyone, either individually, as a group, nation or species.

There's several problems with 'knowing' god. The first is the most obvious. You have a friend that you've known for years. If someone asks to meet them you can introduce them and they will know it's the exact same person you do. God's not like a person. You can't get to know him or ask questions in the same way. You can't say to someone 'this is my god' and expect them to see the same thing as you would with introudcing them to a friend. You're reliant on third party information, past through religious men or texts. You're reliant on interpretation, often based on something that is etremely old, has been editted or mistranslated, that could have been an outright lie or was based on uniformed information.

God's also very much a mirror to the person. People in the past were rascist and sexist and guess what? Their god was too. If you're kind and loving, you believe your god will be too. And this is meant to be the exact same entity. And there's also the thing that a usual good person can condone cruel or heartless behaviour because 'god says so'. Or be ok with condemning people to hell for the same reason.

Let's say god does exists and does care about us. If he's the god of the bible (which I'd never believe) he's a cruel, heartless psychopath. If, however, god does care about us and isn't like that, then I'd be very surprised.

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If you ask ten different people what it meant to be "good", you'd get ten different answers. And if God exists the question turns to whether God has a measuring stick, in which case the question becomes "how good is good enough".

Certainly I agree with your premise - living a life that helps others rather than hurts them. But I don't think it's that simple when it comes to a coverall statement such as the one you made. That's just my opinion though.

~ Regards, PA

There was a cartoon I saw a bit ago. In it there were a group of animals: a fish, a bird, a tiger, a bear, a tortoise and a few others and they wre all posed a test. This test assigned the value of the animal and it involved swimming.

Now why do I bring that up? Well that's simple. The animals all have different skills and have evolved to cope with different things. So if you test tortoise on it's ability to swim it'll be labelled as a failure. Just like a fish can't climb trees, or the bird can't sprint. People are the same in that it's not really fair to judge people by the same standard of goodness. There are a few general 'good' things that a person can be judged by, but as a whole it depends on the person's skills, abiities and what the person faces.

Take an example: a person drowning. Now if someone sees them and is a confidant swimmer, they may swim out and help them. if someone else is unable to swim, they can help by calling the revelent services (or getting a lifeguard who can). Both of these actions count as being good, but if you judge someone who can't swim for not swimming to save them than that's not the right approach at all.

So like I said, people should be judged on what that person can do, not some universal standard (again, bar a few excptions).

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^ I agree in part, people with different skill in different areas use those skills appropriately. That wasn't really what I was referring to. To extend on your image if a person drowning, what if they are good swimmers but are afraid and therefore freeze. Or if someone isn't a good swimmer but has a phone to contract emergency services but freezes under pressure and doesn't call? Are these people doing right or wrong? I'd argue neither. How a person reacts to a stressful situation has nothing to do with morality. I've been through things that show me the truth of this.

I was thinking along different lines. Take theft, as an example. When I was 14 I stole a packet of chewing gum from the local store. It was wrong but I was just a dumb kid who now regrets it. Am I still "good enough"? What about someone I was involved with recently who had been convicted of fraud, stealing about $100,000 from neighbors to feed a drug habit - now he's clean and repentant but can't pay them back - is he "good enough"?

Both these cases involve repentance, so perhaps repentance is the key. But what if the dude who stole 100k isn't repentant? What if the guy who stole a packet of chewing gum isn't repentant? Are either of these "good enough"?

How good is "good enough"?

~ Regards,

Edited by Paranoid Android

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^ I agree in part, people with different skill in different areas use those skills appropriately. That wasn't really what I was referring to. To extend on your image if a person drowning, what if they are good swimmers but are afraid and therefore freeze. Or if someone isn't a good swimmer but has a phone to contract emergency services but freezes under pressure and doesn't call? Are these people doing right or wrong? I'd argue neither. How a person reacts to a stressful situation has nothing to do with morality. I've been through things that show me the truth of this.

Obviously, in a stressful situation people do react diffrently, and people do freeze. I'd agree if someone does freezee it's neither right or wrong, some just can't handle such situations.

I was thinking along different lines. Take theft, as an example. When I was 14 I stole a packet of chewing gum from the local store. It was wrong but I was just a dumb kid who now regrets it. Am I still "good enough"? What about someone I was involved with recently who had been convicted of fraud, stealing about $100,000 from neighbors to feed a drug habit - now he's clean and repentant but can't pay them back - is he "good enough"?

Both these cases involve repentance, so perhaps repentance is the key. But what if the dude who stole 100k isn't repentant? What if the guy who stole a packet of chewing gum isn't repentant?

How good is "good enough"?

~ Regards,

Repentance I find is an odd concept. I think a lot of the time it comes off as valueless (repenting for thinking of something), as lip service (repenting without meaning it) or even harmful (being made to feel like something needs to be repented when it doesn't). As such I place as much value in 'repentance' as I do in 'sin', which is none.

Those two cases are very different. Pretty much every kid does something stupid and regrets doing it later.

Now as for the guy that stole all that money that's different. He was an adult so he doesn't have the excuse of 'he's just a kid' but he did have a drug habit, which is a problem. I'd say what matters here is that he served time, saw it as a problem and he got clean. I think the key part isn't necsssarily the repentance, but that he got clean.

How good is good enough? As I tried to point out depends largely on the person and how much good they can actually do, as well as their ability to do it. I don't think that a universal measure of 'good enough' is possible.

Now lets go back to those two examples you used again. Are you not 'good enough' for one mistake you did as a kid? Of course not and it'd be idiotic to say otherwise. Your life is not defined by that one action and, indeed, it's was just gum. It's not as if you broke in someone's house and stole their tv or held up a bank. You've done many things after that and have likely done more than enough good to cancel it out.

Is the guy that got clean good enough? Time will tell. It depends if he stays clean, but most likely.

Being good enough is not defined by one action. It depends on your whole life. If you go to god and he says 'sorry, you're not good enough because you stole some gum at 14' then I'd say he was an ignorant god to narrow your whole life down to one incident.

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I think we are here to learn. The saying "know thyself"...is a great saying. Sometimes people think they would react a certain way in a situation and they find when they are in that situation they act nothing like they thought they would. Some people show courage and some don't. People change as they grow and their ideas and thoughts change with them. I wouldn't look at any mistakes you made as wrong, even if they were moral mistakes. Look at them as a learning experience.

We don't hold our children totally responsible for their actions because they are too young to understand that what they have done is wrong. Same with us....many of us are at a level of just not understanding life totally....that's why age and experience is so important....it's how we learn. If there was a God, he wouldn't fault you or I for our mistakes. He would forgive us as we would our children. That's how I see much of humanity....children, learning to be wise, independent, loving adults.

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I'm not religious.

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I have this on my computer and found it to be quite useful and SO very, very true:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

- Buddha

and one more:

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

and another:

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.

Buddha

Edited by Ryu
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I'll admit that I still struggle with this one.

I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, went every Sunday to church and Sunday school, attended Vacation Bible School in the summer, was active in the youth group, youth choir, and even went to two church affiliated schools. I could tell you more about the Holy Bible than pretty much anyone you know.

But as I've gotten older (I'm 44) and more rational, I've become a non-believer. Frankly, I see religion as nothing more than folk tales packaged for the masses by leaders whose only goals are control, power, and money.

Edited by Rafterman
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That is a very mature and wise way to look at life Rye. I'm not religious either but if I had to pick a religion I do like most of what the Buddha says.

@Rafterman....I think in the beginning our ancient ancestors wrote down many truths, but, as you say over time man has twisted and changed a lot of it for control.

I am on a spiritual journey but it's an inner one. I've looked at different religious teachings to find what was behind it all. I especially liked the work of Krishnamurti...he says the whole of life is a process of learning. Everything is inside you...you just have to know how to look and learn....no one can give you the key to the door, you have to open it yourself.

There are universal cosmic principles at work on the way to enlightenment.

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I am not religious either but when I look at what Buddha said (if he did exist) he simply conveyed his thoughts based on his experiences. He never demanded that people follow or listen to him nor did he claim his way was the only way. He never even addressed the notion that everyone was naturally evil just because they were born.

You do not need to be religious to be moral and ethical...the Buddha even says "Peace comes from within; do not seek it without" and the same applies to morals, compassion and so forth.

But sadly many won't even consider such basic concepts, most which we learn in preschool, unless it is packaged in religious confines.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.

-The Dalai Lama

Edited by Ryu

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I never realized there was a third choice. Either you do believe in God, or you don't believe in God, or ... ?

Or you chose to suspend active belief and active disbelief; and admit you dont know, and aren't prepared to take a position of belief on this issue.
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I don't see why a god would care about anyone, either individually, as a group, nation or species.

There's several problems with 'knowing' god. The first is the most obvious. You have a friend that you've known for years. If someone asks to meet them you can introduce them and they will know it's the exact same person you do. God's not like a person. You can't get to know him or ask questions in the same way. You can't say to someone 'this is my god' and expect them to see the same thing as you would with introudcing them to a friend. You're reliant on third party information, past through religious men or texts. You're reliant on interpretation, often based on something that is etremely old, has been editted or mistranslated, that could have been an outright lie or was based on uniformed information.

God's also very much a mirror to the person. People in the past were rascist and sexist and guess what? Their god was too. If you're kind and loving, you believe your god will be too. And this is meant to be the exact same entity. And there's also the thing that a usual good person can condone cruel or heartless behaviour because 'god says so'. Or be ok with condemning people to hell for the same reason.

Let's say god does exists and does care about us. If he's the god of the bible (which I'd never believe) he's a cruel, heartless psychopath. If, however, god does care about us and isn't like that, then I'd be very surprised.

I care about all those things. Why shouldnt an older wiser more evolved individual or species also care?

Actually both with a metaphysicala and a physicla god you can introduce it to a friend. But the friends relationship will depend on the friends nature This happens in real life. You can love and respect two friends but when you introduce them to each other they just dont get on. It is not that god cahnges but that we perciev egod through our hearts and minds. God works to mature the minds and hearts and increase our wisdom

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I care about all those things. Why shouldnt an older wiser more evolved individual or species also care?

We are the most intelligent species on the planet, yet humanity has had a terrible track record with the other species that call this world home. We've destroyed habitats and hunted races into extinction. So just because a race is any of those thing doesn't necessarily mean it would care. A more advanced race could look at us and think we're not worth their time.

Of course that doesn't mean another race wouldn't care, it just doesn't mean they automatically would. But it seems incredibly unlikely that anything would care about the lives of every person on the planet, certainy not to the pathollogical degree that 'god' apparently seems to.

Actually both with a metaphysicala and a physicla god you can introduce it to a friend. But the friends relationship will depend on the friends nature This happens in real life. You can love and respect two friends but when you introduce them to each other they just dont get on. It is not that god cahnges but that we perciev egod through our hearts and minds. God works to mature the minds and hearts and increase our wisdom

No, you can't introduce god to a friend. The reasoning is something you touch on there. God seems very much like a mirror. A reflection of the person. If a person is kind and loving, their god will be too. If they're hateful, so will their idea of god will be too.

Now with people you're right, there's no guarantee that two of your friends will get on, but that wasn't the point I was making. Friend a would, physically, be the same friend a that you know. Same as friend b. they may not like each other, but you know they'd be the same people that you know, with no room for error. To put it another way. You can give someone a red ball and they can't percieve it as anything other than a red ball. They can't confuse it for a rubix cube, or a hat or a ship in a bottle. It's simply a red ball.

Now try and show someone god and they won't see it the same as you. They see what they want.

The problem with that is, in my experience, god doesn't seem to mature anything. Quite the opposite in fact. God seems to have a tendancy to stunt wisdom, to keep immature prejudices, to maintain hate and inequality.

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first of all i mean no disrespect to anyone...these opinions are completely my own

but for me the older i get it all becomes more and more obvious

god or religion in general is a construct of our minds...a coping mechanism to help us deal with our mortality

people fear death...belief in a god helps the brain rationalize the concept of death

it gives people hope and assurance that there is more to our existence

instead of embracing each other different cultures fight wars over there own belief systems...killing fellow humans in the name of there own god

its a cancer on our society and has deterred human growth

pedophiles,murderers,people who inflict harm on innocent people are gods creations?

the heart breaking suffering going on around the world..starving,diseased children,refugees clinging to life in encampments ect..this is gods handywork?

our brains are incredible and have hidden abilities we have yet to understand

it will allow someone,many times someone in pain or suffering, to become immersed in a belief if it benifits that individual..probably a way of reducing stress which we know is a killer

most of you i'm sure have heard this idea of our creation..that we are..or more accurately our conscienceness,is explained as the universe evolving to a state that it can percieve itself

this idea makes the most sense to me..that science,as flawed as it is,will eventually explain many things over time

but not all,we must understand we will never know everything

humans are definitely not as smart as they think they are

arrogant and naive possibly

we are but a speck in this vast expanse

we will come and go and be complete forgotten..

like i'm sure many civilizations before and after us

god is a delusion in my opinion

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Which God does the question refer to, anyway? Zeus? Yahweh? Allah? Jupiter? Kali? Ilhuicateotl?

I hope the religionists among us who voted that they "believe in god" realize that in reality they are all really atheists (in all religions minus one).

Edited by Zaphod222

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About 86% of the worlds population believe in a Creator. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist. Even Indigenous Peoples such as Native American tribes of the Americas and Aboriginals of Australia and other continents believe in some creation story. Even though their stories are different, and their Creator has a different name, there seems to be a similarity to it. When stories get passed down through the generations, The stories change where things get added or subtracted to the original version. The stories can be embellished.

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Heaven's Gate Cult

...Jonestown.

Bezlan.

World Trade Center

London Subway

..... the list endless.

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I am not religious either but when I look at what Buddha said (if he did exist) he simply conveyed his thoughts based on his experiences. He never demanded that people follow or listen to him nor did he claim his way was the only way. He never even addressed the notion that everyone was naturally evil just because they were born.

You do not need to be religious to be moral and ethical...the Buddha even says "Peace comes from within; do not seek it without" and the same applies to morals, compassion and so forth.

But sadly many won't even consider such basic concepts, most which we learn in preschool, unless it is packaged in religious confines.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.

-The Dalai Lama

It’s so nice to see some teachings of a great teacher like the Buddha. But we must be careful not to fall into the trap of cherry picking bits we like and ignoring the whole message, like most religions have done. The foundation of ‘The Way’ is MEDITATION, this is the most important thing. As you posted, “Peace comes from within” answer meditation. The Dali Lama meditates for up to 4hrs a day! So long as this foundation is strong all will be well.

“Wakefulness is the way to life. The fool sleeps as if he were already dead,

But the master is awake and he lives forever. He watches (meditates). He is clear. How happy he is!

For he sees that wakefulness is life.

How happy he is, following the path of the awakened. With great perseverance he meditates, seeking freedom and happiness.

So awake, reflect, watch. Work with care and attention. Live in the way and the light will grow in you.

By watching and working (meditating) the master makes for himself an island

Which the flood cannot overwhelm.

The fool is careless. But the master guards his watching (meditating). It is his most precious treasure.

He never gives in to desire. He meditates.

And in the strength of his resolve he discovers true happiness. He overcomes desire and from the tower of his wisdom he looks down with dispassion upon the sorrowing crowd.

From the mountain top He looks down at those who live close to the ground. Mindful among the mindless, awake while others dream, swift as the race horse he outstrips the field.

How wonderful it is to watch (meditate). How foolish to sleep.

The beggar who guards his mind (meditates) and fears the waywardness of his thoughts

Burns through every bond with the fire of his vigilance. The beggar who guards his mind

and fears his own confusion cannot fall. He has found his way to peace. From the ’Dhammapada’

‘MEDITATE. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work, with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds’. Buddha

“The trouble is you think you have time”. Buddha

Edited by sutemi

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We are the most intelligent species on the planet, yet humanity has had a terrible track record with the other species that call this world home. We've destroyed habitats and hunted races into extinction. So just because a race is any of those thing doesn't necessarily mean it would care. A more advanced race could look at us and think we're not worth their time.

Of course that doesn't mean another race wouldn't care, it just doesn't mean they automatically would. But it seems incredibly unlikely that anything would care about the lives of every person on the planet, certainy not to the pathollogical degree that 'god' apparently seems to.

No, you can't introduce god to a friend. The reasoning is something you touch on there. God seems very much like a mirror. A reflection of the person. If a person is kind and loving, their god will be too. If they're hateful, so will their idea of god will be too.

Now with people you're right, there's no guarantee that two of your friends will get on, but that wasn't the point I was making. Friend a would, physically, be the same friend a that you know. Same as friend b. they may not like each other, but you know they'd be the same people that you know, with no room for error. To put it another way. You can give someone a red ball and they can't percieve it as anything other than a red ball. They can't confuse it for a rubix cube, or a hat or a ship in a bottle. It's simply a red ball.

Now try and show someone god and they won't see it the same as you. They see what they want.

The problem with that is, in my experience, god doesn't seem to mature anything. Quite the opposite in fact. God seems to have a tendancy to stunt wisdom, to keep immature prejudices, to maintain hate and inequality.

You dont know people very well, do you? :innocent:

They are no different to god. A person is not a red ball, ie an inanimate object. It is a very complex being and so is god. Just as you say Peole will mirror god on themselves, they do precisely the same with people. Your friend will not see your other friend as you do. They cannot, because they are significantly different to you, with different values likes and dislikes etc.

But still, you can (and do) introduce the one to the other. And you can do the same with god. How they get on is then up to them.

If you treat a person one way you will find a different human being to if you treat them in a different way. It is true that a sadistic person may find a sadistic god within themselves And more true that, how we interpret god comes from our personal and cultural perspectives. How else COULD it be given the nature of the connection betwen god and man. Ths is also true for how we see ourselves, and how we view other human beings.

But i read the bible and see how to treat my felow man. I can read other religious books and find the same truths These reflect comon human understandings of god and gods relationship with us Why dont humans do a better job with god? Maybe because some humans are just not very nice people. But the bible for example tells us how to treat other humans TO love them as oursleves. I am sure other religious books contain simiar wisdoms. Personally, for what ever reason, god teaches me to love, to share but most important to be all that i can be In both physical and spiritual terms Because i respect and love myself i can respect and love others.

The bible when it was written was a very wise book and remained so for centuries. It still contains many of humanity's greatest wisdoms. But it would not be written as it is, today. because society has changed. Even the nature of human cognitive function has changed since those times as a modern human is born into and lives in a totally different world where they lern to think very differntly to a paerson form a millenia or two ago.

Ps we are intelligent but we lack wisdom. We are driven by evolved forces which no longer work well, given our advanced technology and social structures and indeed sheer density of numbers. But spiritual and religious beliefs and teachings can and do adapt to changing circumstances.

Finally i cant speak for everyone else but god cares for me, protects me, and empowers me, loves me and teaches me. Given that i am just an ordinary human, and nothing special I must assume that god seeks the same relationship with every other human. I think perhaps it is humans who do not accpet the requirements of such a relationship and chose not to accpet living life with a powerful god as a very real part of it.

KNowing god is within you stops you, not just lying to others but lying to yourself, for example, and many humans cant cope with either of those constraints.

It stops you hurting yourself, or failing to love or respect your self. it stops you from failing to love and respect others because once you realise god is within you then you understand that equally god is within every other human being. ANd who can fail to love respect honour and care for a being who is a host for a god?

It goes to very basic things As a host of god I have to keep my body and mind as fit and well tuned as possible. As a host of god i do not take drugs alcohol nicotine etc. In part because this would be disrespectful and also dumb Imagine what might happen with a drunken god within you :devil: But also in part because connected to god one becomes complete and doesnt need any crutches or props. One is whole and walks upright and secure, unafraid and determined through life, and everything life brings.One never needs to build ones self up by putting another down or belittling them. And one does not need to try to prove one is equal to, or better than, any other person in any sphere of life. As humans we are all equal and all worthy. The thing is to simply make the most use of your own talents.

All we have to do is be true to ourselves, and to be the most we can be. As long as we recognise god's presence in ourselves as we attempt to do this, we cant go wrong.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Which God does the question refer to, anyway? Zeus? Yahweh? Allah? Jupiter? Kali? Ilhuicateotl?

I hope the religionists among us who voted that they "believe in god" realize that in reality they are all really atheists (in all religions minus one).

I didn't vote. I dont believe in god, I KNOW god, as i know myself, my wife, my father, or my dog.

BUT I do believe that the god I know is the universal god of humanity. The cosmic consciousness "He" is known by many names. Humans break god down or up like blind men in a room with an elephant. EAch one feels a small part of god and formulates a concept of god from that, and if you feel an elehants tail you get a difernt concept than if you feel its tusk or its eye etc I chose christianity as an outward form of my relationship with god because it is the best cultural fit for me. But a relationship with god requires no form of worship and no religion. I dont go to church, but i live with god every second of every day.

Like every one else i dont have the full picture of god, but i can live with that. I' ve lived with my wife for nearly forty years and I still dont have the full picture of who she is either.

For a start i am not a woman, and so some things about her remain unknown and unknowable to me as a man

Then of course there are true theolgical/ philosophical/ metaphysical costructs which spring from the imagination of man and where we construct a god to be as we would like a god to be.

This form of construction is now well understood from studies of infant and adult cognitive development. We invent ufos and aliens from the same type of brain function. But that doesnt mean some ufos arent real and physical; and just because we invent some gods doesnt mean others aren't real and physical either.

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You dont know people very well, do you? :innocent:

They are no different to god. A person is not a red ball, ie an inanimate object. It is a very complex being and so is god. Just as you say Peole will mirror god on themselves, they do precisely the same with people. Your friend will not see your other friend as you do. They cannot, because they are significantly different to you, with different values likes and dislikes etc.

But still, you can (and do) introduce the one to the other. And you can do the same with god. How they get on is then up to them.

If you treat a person one way you will find a different human being to if you treat them in a different way. It is true that a sadistic person may find a sadistic god within themselves And more true that, how we interpret god comes from our personal and cultural perspectives. How else COULD it be given the nature of the connection betwen god and man. Ths is also true for how we see ourselves, and how we view other human beings.

My point with using the inanimate object (the red ball) is quite simple. The ball is a physical, real thing. The ball will be the the same regardless of who you give it to. Now a person is more complex than a ball, of course they are, but the same princible applies. You can introduce one friend to another and, while there's no guarantee they'd like each other that wasn't the point I was getting at.

Let's say you were introducing friend a to friend b and friend a was a black woman. Now friend b isn't guaranteed to like friend a, but what they can't do is state that friend a is an asian man.

That was the point I was trying to get across, not that they'd like each other or not (of course that's not guaranteed) or that they'd share any interests, but any friend you introduce to another would (physically) be the same friend that you know and not something else entirely.

Now with god, that guarantee is simply not there. You can try and introduce someone to your idea of god, but they can see something entirely different to you do. Ie you could see a god that loves anyone unconditionally and you introduce someone else to your god. They, instead of seeing a god that is loving, see one which hates the people they hate. In other words they see something completely different to you.

But i read the bible and see how to treat my felow man. I can read other religious books and find the same truths These reflect comon human understandings of god and gods relationship with us Why dont humans do a better job with god? Maybe because some humans are just not very nice people. But the bible for example tells us how to treat other humans TO love them as oursleves. I am sure other religious books contain simiar wisdoms. Personally, for what ever reason, god teaches me to love, to share but most important to be all that i can be In both physical and spiritual terms Because i respect and love myself i can respect and love others.

The bible when it was written was a very wise book and remained so for centuries. It still contains many of humanity's greatest wisdoms. But it would not be written as it is, today. because society has changed. Even the nature of human cognitive function has changed since those times as a modern human is born into and lives in a totally different world where they lern to think very differntly to a paerson form a millenia or two ago.

Ps we are intelligent but we lack wisdom. We are driven by evolved forces which no longer work well, given our advanced technology and social structures and indeed sheer density of numbers. But spiritual and religious beliefs and teachings can and do adapt to changing circumstances.

Other people read the same bible you do and what do they see? Excuses to kill or enslave. There may be wisdom in there, but there's an awful lot of excuses to harm other human beings, excuses that sadly persist to this day. Same with other religion texts. Look at your example there the bible may say to love others as ourselves, but I've seen many times of christian people discarding that in a heartbeat,

Personally, it could do with a rewrite for modern times, to remove the excuses and confusion. People won't, though. For some people others suffering isn't a good enough reason to change.

We can but hope things change, but sometimes I wonder.

Finally i cant speak for everyone else but god cares for me, protects me, and empowers me, loves me and teaches me. Given that i am just an ordinary human, and nothing special I must assume that god seeks the same relationship with every other human. I think perhaps it is humans who do not accpet the requirements of such a relationship and chose not to accpet living life with a powerful god as a very real part of it.

KNowing god is within you stops you, not just lying to others but lying to yourself, for example, and many humans cant cope with either of those constraints.

It stops you hurting yourself, or failing to love or respect your self. it stops you from failing to love and respect others because once you realise god is within you then you understand that equally god is within every other human being. ANd who can fail to love respect honour and care for a being who is a host for a god?

It goes to very basic things As a host of god I have to keep my body and mind as fit and well tuned as possible. As a host of god i do not take drugs alcohol nicotine etc. In part because this would be disrespectful and also dumb Imagine what might happen with a drunken god within you :devil: But also in part because connected to god one becomes complete and doesnt need any crutches or props. One is whole and walks upright and secure, unafraid and determined through life, and everything life brings.One never needs to build ones self up by putting another down or belittling them. And one does not need to try to prove one is equal to, or better than, any other person in any sphere of life. As humans we are all equal and all worthy. The thing is to simply make the most use of your own talents.

All we have to do is be true to ourselves, and to be the most we can be. As long as we recognise god's presence in ourselves as we attempt to do this, we cant go wrong.

Well the first thing I'll say is how do you know that's god? How can you be absolutely sure this thing is god and not something else?

Then there's the whole 'god is inside people' thing. Personally I don't want god or anything else 'inside me' in that way. I am a person, an individual and I have no desite to have something else sharing the wheel of my life. It's much why I don't follow religions. What I do is primarily decided for by me. I dont restrict myself based on god or the bible. I do what I do and I know that I'm 100% responsible for what I do.

See something I find disturbing about that particular thing, is that you love others because god says so or wants you to. So what? Are you loving people becuse you genuinely do, or only because your god says so?

I don't need god to care about others. But at the same time I'm not going to blindly love and respect people. I don't love those that murder peopl and I dont respect those that use scripture as an excuse to discriminate. Why should I, or anyone, love and respect people like that, those that genuinely make others lives a misery are worthy of neither.

Being connected with god becomes your crutch and prop. It replaces all others.

Personally I prefer being as I am now. You'd probably see certain things in my life as a prop or crutch, but they're not to me. I don't put people down to build myself up. im not afraid of being afraid or feeling any other emotion. I am very much my own person. Im true to myself and I dont need god for that.

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But i read the bible and see how to treat my felow man. I can read other religious books and find the same truths .

Wrong!

Your comment shows that you precisely have NOT done that. It is a naive but ill-informed belief to think that other religions somehow teach the same values as Christianity.

Fact is, different religions teach extremely different value systems and morals.

Your assumption is based on wishful thinking, not on fact.

No my friend, this easy cop-out does not work. All religions can not possibly be true, so if you want to take Pascals bet, you have very bad odds indeed.

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I think it's quite obvious which side I take... ;)

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