Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
markdohle

A good question

111 posts in this topic

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
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...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.
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

What prevents me is the fact I don't have to think exactly the same as anyone else to be able to connect with them. I do find that I am a part of some interesting, amazing conversations because I just am no longer invested in the need to be right. It has created friendships for me that are truly open and fulfilling.

Edited by Sherapy
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Thank you. For me and I believe for others, existence seems to be an unsolvable riddle, and all the answers to the riddle may be just a piece of a very large puzzle. For me, because the universe has a beginning and is based on rational laws as well as information that is needed for laws to come into being, as well that our brains can also understand the world and do rational thought, points to atheism as being more absurd than theism. Of course an atheist will disagree, which is fine, OK, hookey dookey with me.Apart from that, my faith can at times seem absurd, but just not as absurd as atheism. It is just me my friend, I like what you said, the 'at the end of the day' part is, well, true.

Peace

mark

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. For me and I believe for others, existence seems to be an unsolvable riddle, and all the answers to the riddle may be just a piece of a very large puzzle. For me, because the universe has a beginning and is based on rational laws as well as information that is needed for laws to come into being, as well that our brains can also understand the world and do rational thought, points to atheism as being more absurd than theism. Of course an atheist will disagree, which is fine, OK, hookey dookey with me.Apart from that, my faith can at times seem absurd, but just not as absurd as atheism. It is just me my friend, I like what you said, the 'at the end of the day' part is, well, true.

Peace

mark

Well I am an Atheist, Mark and I read your all your posts, You are wise. I find you to be a beautiful person, respectful, gracious always seeking to be fair to everyone. If you attribute this to your faith I say you have chosen well for yourself my friend. This is why I say at the end of the day who you are to me is what speaks the loudest to me.

Edited by Sherapy
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, because the universe has a beginning and is based on rational laws as well as information that is needed for laws to come into being, as well that our brains can also understand the world and do rational thought, points to atheism as being more absurd than theism. Of course an atheist will disagree, which is fine, OK, hookey dookey with me.Apart from that, my faith can at times seem absurd, but just not as absurd as atheism.

I'm with Sherapy that one's belief system is not a good metric to evaluate someone, and that who you are and how you behave is what matters. I don't think belief in God is necessary absurd, just likely mistaken. I think depending on how detailed and certain one is in their beliefs can push someone towards the absurd end of the scale, IMO of course; I don't think cyclops and Asgard are any more, or less, absurd than angels and heaven, those are very specific things to 'know' and without specific evidence starts leaning to absurdity.

Like others, I think a definition of God (Christian God, deist God, etc) is pretty crucial to determining the absurdity of the proposition. I don't know how someone can find atheism to be absurd though, it is the default, and I'm not aware of any logical or empirical 'problems' with it. I understand you think that natural laws, information, and our ability to rationalize require God, which is fine and I understand where you are coming from, I think that/feel that sometimes too. But I also recognize that what I think concerning that is based on nothing but a hunch and intuition; I have virtually no information on what is required for them to exist, no evidence or rational basis at all, so it's not what I consider to be a rationally supported belief. And one could argue that in some sense 'absurdity' is somewhat objective and tied in with how rational something is. Interesting post as always! :tu:

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We,ve worshiped just about anything you can see because it's in our nature to find a way of controlling all that surrounds us to ensure our survival even if it means sucking up to some imaginary big guy.We make a structure whether out of words or brick whatever in our attempt to control things we have no control over.Cave men live

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Belief in God is absurd. One of the most absurd things about belief in God, is how people humanise God so as to be able to relate to the ethics of God. I would dearly love for us to discover a non-human (and non-humanlike) sentience with a version of 'god' which they have created in their own image.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It'd be interesting indeed to discuss notions of God with an Ant, or a Bacterium, or a Dolphin. I'd even settle for a glimpse into the kind of thinking that went into the Neanderthal's religious rites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

I certainly understand that you've had personal experiences that have resulted in your belief, and your retelling of these personal experiences may be enough to convince someone of the existence of god or at least color any future experiences in that regard. Usually though, as far as evidence goes, those experiences just don't hold up for others unless they have a predisposition of belief already. Not that these experiences did not occur, it's just that their retelling usually results in a strengething of one's already held belief rather than resulting in newly a held belief.

That's all I was referring to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Again though, like I'd mentioned, this is a differeing world view. If god were real, god could be experienced in the same way as everything else that is viewed as real. Trees, flowers, bears (my favorite animal lol). Now obviously, you're going to not agree with this assertion and that's fine. However, from an atheist point of view, in order to actually exist, god would have to exist as a "being" at least in concept. Otherwise there simply isn't anything to believe or disbelieve in. Do you see what I'm saying?

For instance, from the perspective of many sects in the Mahayana tradition, gods exist, but they are only another form of existence. Their lives would be just as finite as our own and they are still experiencing Samsara just as we are until they become enlightened. There still is no "creator god" so to speak. Not that this belief is anymore valid than a Judeo-Christian one, it isn't, but I offer it as an example in that were I to meet a god as viewed within that tradition, they would be experienced in the same way as if you and I were to meet. It's at least a starting to point to discuss something that would have a physical existence. This I can say I do not believe in whatsoever. Whereas the Judeo-Christian god, I'm not sure what it is exactly we're reffering to from a physical stand point. I don't know what to believe or not to believe in other than stories, holy books and second hand accounts. I just haven't had the same experiences as believers have. I may at some point, but not yet. Your beliefs are hardly absurd, I just haven't had the same experiences that led to them.

Like I said, I'm not a hard atheist myself but this is as much sense as I can make of an atheist perspective and consequently I share much of it in my own "Buddhist" worldview.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again though, like I'd mentioned, this is a differeing world view. If god were real, god could be experienced in the same way as everything else that is viewed as real. Trees, flowers, bears (my favorite animal lol). Now obviously, you're going to not agree with this assertion and that's fine. However, from an atheist point of view, in order to actually exist, god would have to exist as a "being" at least in concept. Otherwise there simply isn't anything to believe or disbelieve in. Do you see what I'm saying?

For instance, from the perspective of many sects in the Mahayana tradition, gods exist, but they are only another form of existence. Their lives would be just as finite as our own and they are still experiencing Samsara just as we are until they become enlightened. There still is no "creator god" so to speak. Not that this belief is anymore valid than a Judeo-Christian one, it isn't, but I offer it as an example in that were I to meet a god as viewed within that tradition, they would be experienced in the same way as if you and I were to meet. It's at least a starting to point to discuss something that would have a physical existence. This I can say I do not believe in whatsoever. Whereas the Judeo-Christian god, I'm not sure what it is exactly we're reffering to from a physical stand point. I don't know what to believe or not to believe in other than stories, holy books and second hand accounts. I just haven't had the same experiences as believers have. I may at some point, but not yet. Your beliefs are hardly absurd, I just haven't had the same experiences that led to them.

Like I said, I'm not a hard atheist myself but this is as much sense as I can make of an atheist perspective and consequently I share much of it in my own "Buddhist" worldview.

"If god were real, god could be experienced in the same way as everything else that is viewed as real."

This is the great misconception.

The Creator of the DVD can not be experienced in the DVD. (duh)

Second hand accounts-Shmecond hand accounts... what are you doing to gain first hand experience?

What do you think the "experience" of GOD would be worth?

?

How much effort do you think might be required?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.