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bigjim36

How can anyone believe in God?

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I was born and raised Catholic, both my parents are Catholic and all of their families are Catholic. I went to church every sunday and to Catholic school so it's safe to say that my view of religion is heavily biased. However, that's not to say that I don't know about other religions, I do and a lot more than some people who claim to practice those religions. Anyhow my point being is that I firmly believe that all and that means ALL religions are corrupt, money making schemes that prey on ignorance and fear. Now some people may jump to the defence of the Buddhists, they believe in equality and peace, no they don't. The Dalai Lama has stated if he returns to Tibet then the people are his subjects and they should work to serve him. Does that sound like equality? The Sikhs carry around a knife that once drawn must not be sheathed unless it has spilt blood, the Jews persecute the Muslims, the Muslims persecute any non muslims and Christians persecute everyone else and try to convert them! Of course I'm talking about the fundamentalists and extremists here, not the every day folk who use God as a guide rather than the be all and end all.

So back to the title of the piece, how can anyone believe in God? Or Gods? For years I had it ingrained in me not to question the Bible and the Churches teachings but the second I started doing my own research then the facade started to crumble. I read about the Gnostic Gospels, I read about Josephus who describes Jesus as "Balding with a stooped back and hooked nose" and he was a contemperory so he should know a lot better than someone who never even met him. The council of Nicea, the vatican and the Nazi's, Mohammed the paedophile, the Koran dictating women are less than men, the many contradictions in the Bible, on and on it goes. If God is real and God exists he would've come down and told us all what the true religion is and how to behave. He couldn't stop doing it in the Torah and the Old Testament. He was forever interfering. So where is he now? The proof is in the pudding and sadly for all you believers out there, there is no proof. All these people who go around after a disaster praising God or Jesus for saving them forget one thing, if you believe in God then He caused the disaster in the first place! He was the one who destroyed your house and family. Think about it. If you believe in God then he is responsible for everything, if you don't believe you have nothing to fear.

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For some, religion/mythology is more "comforting" than science.

I mean, to be told that there is a person or group (depending on the beliefs you were told to believe in as a kid) that lives in the sky somewhere pulling all the strings sounds far more comforting and more anthropocentric than to be told that things operate on cause and effect. That while we are part of a biological system that we are not the center of the universe and the world doesn't revolve around us.

We have created our own problems and always have, not some god or demon and we alone can solve them too.

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For some, religion/mythology is more "comforting" than science.

I mean, to be told that there is a person or group (depending on the beliefs you were told to believe in as a kid) that lives in the sky somewhere pulling all the strings sounds far more comforting and more anthropocentric than to be told that things operate on cause and effect. That while we are part of a biological system that we are not the center of the universe and the world doesn't revolve around us.

We have created our own problems and always have, not some god or demon and we alone can solve them too.

I hear this one a lot and it sounds good - very responsible. The problem I have with it is two fold. Human nature is apt to evil - anyone who denies this must support that denial with examples of how mankind has "solved" the problem of hate and destruction of his neighbor. Second, you over simplify the teachings about Christ and like many you seem to do so in a way that disrespects people of faith - casting them as childish or simple minded. Some of the best minds of any time have been believers. The issue the OP has seems to be an old one: if one cannot PROVE the existence of God then God does not exist. Perhaps he'd care to explain how he can disprove God's existence? To explain who or what "God" is to the many who look to the Creator for strength in evil times? He mentions being raised in a single denomination - insulated by it in fact. I grew up never even hearing of the Catholic church - went to Sunday school and church semi regularly until I was a teen and drifted away to do my own thing until I was in my thirties. For me, faith gets down to the impossibility of the precision of the universe - it's laws and structure - being RANDOM. Those who deny and scoff at a Creator need to answer that point. The other is thing I cannot get past is how a text written and preserved over several thousand years can have predictions that are actually playing out in our day. Those who reject God are simply in denial imo. That's okay too. No anger from me over it :) I have no need to condemn anyone for their inability to believe what I find inescapable.
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Well existence had to come from somewhere, so why not a being called God? I'm an apatheist by nature though.

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Both my parents are Catholic as I said and both are very well educated people and have professional careers, as indeed am/do I. However just because something is old and carried through as tradition doesn't mean that it is right. Look at all the pain and hatred caused in Gods name. As I say, where is he now? Why doesn't he show himself? The burden of proof is not on us to prove he exists. There's more evidence to prove he doesn't.

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Well existence had to come from somewhere, so why not a being called God? I'm an apatheist by nature though.

I think we need to learn a lot more about what "existence" is before saying it has to come from somewhere. I think all that exists probably adds up to nothing -- the positive energy is canceled by the negative energy and so on. The trick is just keeping them apart.
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I can't see how an infinite being could hide from us, but he seems to.

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All that we have discovered in the universe does a fairly convinving job of disproving all the religions and their texts.

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If you don't expect people to be convinced by your personal evidence, why do you claim in in public forums? It seems you want us to be convinced but you know we won't be so you try this in a sort-of desperation. The fact is you want to believe and your testimony reinforces your belief so you testify and it has nothing to do with us.

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If you don't expect people to be convinced by your personal evidence, why do you claim in in public forums? It seems you want us to be convinced but you know we won't be so you try this in a sort-of desperation. The fact is you want to believe and your testimony reinforces your belief so you testify and it has nothing to do with us.

I say what I say to explain why I believe. That is the question asked in this thread, is it not?
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Posted (edited)

As some on here already know, I am not a believer in god and if people want to label me, I would be labelled as agnostic BUT:

I am a firm believer that originally religion was created by people as a way to deal with losing their loved ones and in dealing with the wrath's of mother nature, things back then were not fully understood. This is IMO absolutely understandable, but over time the greedy, as with most things in life, have tried to use it to their advantage and not the advantage of the follower. For all those who believe in a deity as a way to live life easier, then I fully support them and fully understand their reasoning and fully RESPECT the reasoning too. But when it gets into the realms of hate, war and disrespecting others because they do not believe in the same thing, then I can only stand up and say this is what gives religion a bad name and anyone following a religion based on hating others and wanting supreme rule, will get my honest opinion on why they should not be allowed to bring it within a society of people who do not want to believe in it!

Edited by freetoroam
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Posted (edited)

Human nature is apt to evil

It is also good.

For me, faith gets down to the impossibility of the precision of the universe - it's laws and structure - being RANDOM.

Who says its random? Very few things are truly random and even then there are theories they may only appear random. Edited by Rlyeh
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All that we have discovered in the universe does a fairly convinving job of disproving all the religions and their texts.

But, it doesn't disprove an existance of a God like entity.

I'm not a believer, but looking at the universe, and it's unimaginable wonders, with it's sense of rules, it's easy for me to think something had a role in designing that. I'm not saying it's an All Mighty God, but there is a possiblity (even if slight) that there is a higher intelligence invovled.

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I hear this one a lot and it sounds good - very responsible. The problem I have with it is two fold. Human nature is apt to evil - anyone who denies this must support that denial with examples of how mankind has "solved" the problem of hate and destruction of his neighbor. Second, you over simplify the teachings about Christ and like many you seem to do so in a way that disrespects people of faith - casting them as childish or simple minded. Some of the best minds of any time have been believers. The issue the OP has seems to be an old one: if one cannot PROVE the existence of God then God does not exist. Perhaps he'd care to explain how he can disprove God's existence? To explain who or what "God" is to the many who look to the Creator for strength in evil times? He mentions being raised in a single denomination - insulated by it in fact. I grew up never even hearing of the Catholic church - went to Sunday school and church semi regularly until I was a teen and drifted away to do my own thing until I was in my thirties. For me, faith gets down to the impossibility of the precision of the universe - it's laws and structure - being RANDOM. Those who deny and scoff at a Creator need to answer that point. The other is thing I cannot get past is how a text written and preserved over several thousand years can have predictions that are actually playing out in our day. Those who reject God are simply in denial imo. That's okay too. No anger from me over it :) I have no need to condemn anyone for their inability to believe what I find inescapable.

I respect your beliefs, but am not in denial, i do not reject god, I just do not believe in one. I find it interesting to hear why people believe, because over time there have been many different reasons given, some very plausible, some not, but as it stands, there does not seem to be one overall reason why people choose to follow the same religion, which intrigues me.

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It is also good.

Who says its random?

You ask a very good question here, because if god created the universe as some religious people say, then how could it be random to other religious people of the same faith?

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I agree that one of the main functions religions serve is helping us deal with the death of those close to us. We don't grieve or fear our own deaths but we do those of our family and friends. This is one of the worst things one who would leave behind the suffering of the world must work out -- that in the end all die.

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You ask a very good question here, because if god created the universe as some religious people say, then how could it be random to other religious people of the same faith?

What most people call random isn't random but chaotic.

But if order requires a creator, then is that creator orderly or random? It comes back to the special pleading of the uncreated creator.

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I agree that one of the main functions religions serve is helping us deal with the death of those close to us. We don't grieve or fear our own deaths but we do those of our family and friends. This is one of the worst things one who would leave behind the suffering of the world must work out -- that in the end all die.

Man seems to have managed to work out some pretty complicated things over time, we have electricity, have the means to travel in space and yet after all this time some have not found a way to deal with death, which most animals appear to deal with better than us.

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I hear this one a lot and it sounds good - very responsible. The problem I have with it is two fold. Human nature is apt to evil - anyone who denies this must support that denial with examples of how mankind has "solved" the problem of hate and destruction of his neighbor.

As someone has already noted, human nature is apt to good also, but regardless I had trouble understanding the point here, namely, why is the existence of human evil a 'problem' concerning the existence of God? Belief in God also has not solved the problem of hate and destruction, and sometimes has exacerbated it.

Second, you over simplify the teachings about Christ and like many you seem to do so in a way that disrespects people of faith - casting them as childish or simple minded. Some of the best minds of any time have been believers.

Sure, but some of the best minds of any time have also been dead wrong about certain things. I have yet to see any mind of any time come up with good evidence or a good argument for any god.

To explain who or what "God" is to the many who look to the Creator for strength in evil times?

Fair enough point, I don't know for sure what God is to those who look to him for strength. But just because people look to him for strength isn't an argument for his existence, unless we want to say that the existence of all the other contradictory gods is supported by the fact that people look to them for strength also.

For me, faith gets down to the impossibility of the precision of the universe - it's laws and structure - being RANDOM. Those who deny and scoff at a Creator need to answer that point.

Whether the precision of the universe is 'impossible' is, at best, scientifically controversial. Regardless, even if this was true, we would also need to answer why a 'Creator' is a better answer than something like 'an impersonal force/creation mechanism'.

The other is thing I cannot get past is how a text written and preserved over several thousand years can have predictions that are actually playing out in our day.

Can you name a prediction that is playing out to this day? Something that hasn't occurred yet so we can validate this prediction? Hindsight prediction fulfillment is pretty easy, especially when there's ambiguity involved; see Nostradamus.

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Posted (edited)

I think we need to learn a lot more about what "existence" is before saying it has to come from somewhere. I think all that exists probably adds up to nothing -- the positive energy is canceled by the negative energy and so on. The trick is just keeping them apart.

I've thought about existence a lot, honestly I couldn't find any rational reason as to why it should exist other than for the sake of existing. Us and the rocks floating in space are essentially made the exact same thing, so why does our matter seem to have conscious thought and that rock doesn't?

Kind of makes you wonder what else matter could accomplish/perceive if arranged in a different way, like if things we've thought were inanimate objects might have some kind of consciousness outside of our ability to comprehend.

Edited by Wickian
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God has stemmed from religion and vice versa, they are interlinked and you can't have one without the other. Man invented god as a way of controlling the masses, what better way to keep people subjugated than by saying they'll be rewarded or punished after death? That way no one can prove if you are correct. God is the ancient boogey man, there to punish the sinful. So be good and remember to pay for the upkeep of your church or god will punish you.

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The connection between desire and belief is so obvious it cannot be denied or overlooked. Believers want to believe in God. I think this disqualifies them as true believers. A true believer would be one who realizes the evidence is so overwhelming, he/she would have no choice but to believe, and would be forced to put aside all skepticism.

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God has stemmed from religion and vice versa, they are interlinked and you can't have one without the other. Man invented god as a way of controlling the masses, what better way to keep people subjugated than by saying they'll be rewarded or punished after death? That way no one can prove if you are correct. God is the ancient boogey man, there to punish the sinful. So be good and remember to pay for the upkeep of your church or god will punish you.

Certainly this happens but it is not the origins of god.

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It is also good.

Who says its random? Very few things are truly random and even then there are theories they may only appear random.

Most who deny a creative mind. I use the word random to denote a process that seems to have no "author". And when one breaks it all down to the very moment of creation - how can anyone explain what was going on in the moment before? To each his own - no harm no foul. Just as the OP has the right to question how anyone can believe, we all have a right to express our answers without it being taken as coercion. I think that some in this world are so dismissive or possibly even angry because of the sins of religions that they immediately go into attack mode anytime the topic of God is broached. If someone got in my face telling me that I'm going to a place of indescribable torment if I do not believe as THEY do then I'd tell them what I think of them as well. But if they simply state what they believe and why - who is harmed by that?

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