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Nuclear Wessel

What is your reason for belief/non-belief?

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Nuclear Wessel

Hey everybody.

This is the first time that I have created a thread in this forum so please forgive me if I make any errors of any sort.

It appears that many of the users who post in this forum are either a.) atheists, or b.) agnostics. There appears to be somewhat of a shortage of theists in comparison to atheists, however... I am not interested in why there is such a shortage, but rather I am interested in the reasoning behind your choice of either belief/non-belief.

If you are a believer, was it some apparently miraculous event that caused you to believe? Is it the idea that this universe appears to be created/designed to you? Is it because you have asked something of god/gods and received what you asked for? Is it because of some philosophical arguments in favour of God (such as Anselm's ontological argument, or Thomas Aquinas' cosmological argument? Pascal's wager, perhaps?) What is it that makes you believe such things? I am just curious--I like to know why people have beliefs and why some don't believe.

If you are an atheist... is it simply because there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of a god? Is it because the very notion of a god defies the laws of physics? Is it because the likelihood of a god existing is equal to that of pixies, faeries, and elves? Is it because all of the arguments posited in favour of God's existence (the aforementioned philosophical arguments, as an example) don't make sense in their entirety? When did you discover you were an atheist, if there ever was such a moment of epiphany... or is it something that you just never gave much thought? Let me know.

For me, personally... if I were to classify myself I think that I would classify myself as a person who wholly accept the possibility that there is a power that (at least at this point in time) exceeds human understanding. What do I call this power? I am not sure; "God" would be such a silly label. While even my rudimentary understanding of physics leads me to conclude that such a thing most likely is not possible, it is still an interesting concept to ponder. I do not go about my day placing whole faith into whatever this power may be, but I most certainly do wonder if such a thing is possible. There have been apparently miraculous events in my life that, on the surface appears to be nothing more than the result of mere chance and luck, however... I do find a bit of satisfaction in wondering "What IF? What IF there is something more?", but, quite conversely, I find myself wondering "What if there isn't? There likely isn't... most probably isn't anything more, but what IF?". This is because, well... there is a lot of suffering in this world; why would this "force" favour helping me overcome an illness vs. helping to rid a child in Africa of the parasites that are eating their eyes from the inside out? Why do I get to live with all of these material luxuries while a young, impoverished, intellectually-gifted child in the middle east watches their parents taken from their homes by ISIS and slaughtered in the streets and is then subjugated by said organization and will likely commit atrocities of their own? What makes ME so special? I don't understand.

I don't subscribe to any religious dogma, doctrine, or tenets of any sort... I don't have any kind of rituals that I follow so as to ensure that whatever power may be out there will "bless me"... I don't operate on faith on a daily basis... I just like pondering on whether or not there is some force that binds everything together.

I would like to keep this thread as civil and as courteous as possible; please show the utmost humility when responding. No attacking ANYBODY... I just want a respectful, interesting discussion on your beliefs/lack thereof.

Edited by nuclearwessel
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Leonardo

With respect the question of the existence of deity I profess agnosticism and consider this to be the only valid form of "non-belief". The primary reason for this is the almost limitless multitude of forms of divinity humankind have conceived of, suggesting both: 1) that anything might be considered "evidence" for some deity conceived by someone somewhere (or somewhen), and 2) that nothing should be considered reliable evidence for the existence of a deity because the plethora of forms deity has been mooted to take are often conflicted and contradictory.

Because it is impossible, therefore, to know whether evidence of a deity exists or not, it is also impossible to rationally/logically argue for or against some form of deity existing. This rules out theism and atheism as "non-beliefs" and exposes them as diametrically opposing beliefs, the adherents of whom simply manipulate one or both of the reasons I provided above, to justify their own belief. i.e. the Theist will deliberately ignore reason 2) - so justifying their theistic belief; while the atheist will deliberately ignore reason 1) in order to justify their atheistic belief.

Edited by Leonardo
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Galactic Goatman

I'm just not religious, plain and simple. :)

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StarMountainKid

I often wonder why the universe exists at all. Surely nothing is more efficient than something and would seem much more likely. In my view, our problem when contemplating this is that our thoughts are stuck in conventional modes of thinking. We use our every-day intuitive thinking from experience instead of thinking counter-intuitively.

The use of human rational thought may not be capable of an understanding of this Existence we find ourselves a part of. If the universe or multi-verse or whatever Existence is composed of "just is", that term doesn't compute for us. There must be some human-invented reason or mechanism responsible that we can understand.

I consider this kind of human intellectual or emotional construction is incapable or insufficient to define Existence as the thing itself. There is no definition of The Thing Itself. In physics there are fundamental particles that have no components, they are just what they are. They cannot be reduced to anything more fundamental than themselves.

They, the things themselves, cannot be defined, only their behavior can be described. I think Existence is as that. Existence cannot be defined, only the behavior of Existence can be described by us.

So, I would say both atheism and belief both are meaningless concepts when considering ourselves and the Reality we exist within.

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XenoFish

I could be consider indifferent agnostic or indifferent atheist. I don't really care about god existence or non-existence. One of the reason is because I suffered from religious psychological abuse as a kid. Basically meaning I was told that I wasn't worth god's love due to being a sinful and evil creature, when as a child hurt me. As I grew I developed a bitterness toward religion and at one point attempted to be christian just to give it a second chance.

However I endured a similar experience as I had when I was a kid. I learned that it's easier to preach it than act on it. Getting booted out of church because I gave the kids at VBS extra snacks (which I bought myself). So it soured me again. This drove me to explore magick more in depth with paradigm shifts and found that all religions were the same, man made. That the gods were the avatars of the ego.

I have no problem with peoples beliefs, I have problems with what they do in the name of their beliefs. I think that shoving a faith down a child's throat is a form of psychological abuse. Because this limits their world view and forces them into compliancy.

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Davros of Skaro

With respect the question of the existence of deity I profess agnosticism and consider this to be the only valid form of "non-belief". The primary reason for this is the almost limitless multitude of forms of divinity humankind have conceived of, suggesting both: 1) that anything might be considered "evidence" for some deity conceived by someone somewhere (or somewhen), and 2) that nothing should be considered reliable evidence for the existence of a deity because the plethora of forms deity has been mooted to take are often conflicted and contradictory.

Because it is impossible, therefore, to know whether evidence of a deity exists or not, it is also impossible to rationally/logically argue for or against some form of deity existing. This rules out theism and atheism as "non-beliefs" and exposes them as diametrically opposing beliefs, the adherents of whom simply manipulate one or both of the reasons I provided above, to justify their own belief. i.e. the Theist will deliberately ignore reason 2) - so justifying their theistic belief; while the atheist will deliberately ignore reason 1) in order to justify their atheistic belief.

So are you a Bigfoot agnostic because many places in the world have apeman reports, and you have not looked in all these places?

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Leonardo

So are you a Bigfoot agnostic because many places in the world have apeman reports, and you have not looked in all these places?

Where did I say I was agnostic because I have personally investigated every religion?

I am agnostic because the case either for or against there being any evidence for the existence of some deity has no basis of justification. Either could be true or false, and we have no means of determining which is the case.

Edited by Leonardo
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freetoroam

I do not believe in a god. There has been too much bloodshed through out history for me believe there is a god out there who could possible make a creature which would kill his fellow man.

I hear people say but there is a lot which religion has achieved....and I ask myself what? nothing more than any good man without a religion could.

Religion does not make a man good IMO.

I believe in hope, and hope mankind will one day over come his lust for greed and power and will stop killing in the name of his religion, but I also know as long as there are people who follow a religion which differs from his fellow man, hope is a big ask.

I could never follow an ideology created by man which uses his invented god as an excuse to kill. The 3 main religions have all had their share and some are still today, of shedding blood..............believe in them and the history they carry behind them? I think not!

There is absolutely no proof there is any kind of god, but there is absolute evidence than man wants to be the most powerful thing on this planet...universe is given the chance, and he will play god and do whatever he can to get there and the little people will follow.

Yes there are good people who help others, but you do not need a religion to do this, I believe the strongest man is the man who does not need to follow a religion and does not need to follow what is written in a novel. A strong man is the man who follows his heart and instincts and cares for all living things on this planet.

I do not believe there will ever be proof of a god, to me man has invented "his "god/s, which is fine if it helps him live his time here, but hypothetically there could only be one god and we would all believe together, but we do not = there is your proof, like cultures and customs, it is man made.

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XenoFish

Where did I say I was agnostic because I have personally investigated every religion?

I am agnostic because the case either for or against there being any evidence for the existence of some deity has no basis of justification. Either could be true or false, and we have no means of determining which.

Which is pretty much the reason I've chosen to be an indifferent agnostic.

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EEHC

I define myself as an agnostic theist. Spiritual but not religious (SBNR)

I believe in a Supreme Intelligence, God, so I guess that makes me a Theist. But I don't claim to know anything for certain about the properties and attributes of the Creator, which remains a complete mystery to me, so there's obviously some kind of agnosticism there. The reasons for this belief are quite simple, I see design in nature. I think the ''coincidence'' for our existence is too great to be the product of mindless, random factors. It is my conviction that there are vistas of reality that we currently cannot perceive and/or comprehend. It is this overall perspective of 'something more' that leads me to believe in a Higher Power.

Edited by EEHC
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Davros of Skaro

When I was a kid I enjoyed watching the Jesus movies, but saw them as inflated myth. My family only went to Church on Easter in remembrance of relatives that passed on. We went after service, and after visiting Graves.

At age ten I received a Bible and read it cover to cover. I rejected it because it was illogical to me. I would sometimes ponder how a God existed, and created everything.

One day at Arlington National Cemetery I saw an Atomic symbol on a Headstone. When asked what it meant it was the first time the word "atheist" came in my conscious. I always identified as nonpracticing Episcopalian because that was what I was baptized as when I was a baby. I thought it was odd not to believe in God, but down the road I realized that was me.

I always kept it to myself. Then 9/11 happened and it combined with how I seen the religious acted. This lead me to research religion. Now I'm an antitheist atheist.

500pxdavros.jpg

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Davros of Skaro

Where did I say I was agnostic because I have personally investigated every religion?

I am agnostic because the case either for or against there being any evidence for the existence of some deity has no basis of justification. Either could be true or false, and we have no means of determining which is the case.

So you are an agnostic Bigfootist and agnostic Unicornist.

Thanks for answering my question.

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freetoroam

I define myself as an agnostic theist.

I believe in a Supreme Intelligence, God, so I guess that makes me a Theist. But I don't claim to know anything for certain about the properties of the Creator, which remains a complete mystery to me, so there's obviously some agnosticism there. The reasons for this belief are quite simple, I see design in nature. I think the ''coincidence'' of our existence is too great to be the product of mindless, random factors. It is my conviction that there are vistas of reality that we can't currently perceive and comprehend. It's this perspective of 'something more' that leads me to a belief in a Higher Power.

But factors of nature are IMO why we are here and we really have not been here for that long. The dinosaurs where here for longer, did a god make them originally? Was there an Adamorex and an Evetaurus?

There is a higher power than man.....it is nature, something some men forget to respect because they think their "god" will protect them, well their god has not protected anyone from the forces of nature.

We have and are constantly evolving, so if there had been a god who created us, he did not create what we are today. We evolve over time in accordance to our habitat and environment, we are part of nature, like every other living thing on this planet, although we are top of the food chain, it does not make us indispensable.

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Hammerclaw

The "Everything just happened" explanation, really doesn't grab me.

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freetoroam

When I was a kid I enjoyed watching the Jesus movies, but saw them as inflated myth. My family only went to Church on Easter in remembrance of relatives that passed on. We went after service, and after visiting Graves.

At age ten I received a Bible and read it cover to cover. I rejected it because it was illogical to me. I would sometimes ponder how a God existed, and created everything.

One day at Arlington National Cemetery I saw an Atomic symbol on a Headstone. When asked what it meant it was the first time the word "atheist" came in my conscious. I always identified as nonpracticing Episcopalian because that was what I was baptized as when I was a baby. I thought it was odd not to believe in God, but down the road I realized that was me.

I always kept it to myself. Then 9/11 happened and it combined with how I seen the religious acted. This lead me to research religion. Now I'm an antitheist atheist.

500pxdavros.jpg

Something which has always interested, I visit my ancestors graves when I go "home". It is a very moving experience for me as there are quite a few generations in the cemetery, but I never relate it with a god or any religion. To me they are the past which has given us our future, and this must always be respected by those why are able to stand here today.....because of them. One day I will join them and hope I too will be respected and remembered by the future generations as I respect the past generations today........this has nothing to do with gods.

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Nuclear Wessel

The "Everything just happened" explanation, really doesn't grab me.

Interesting. Why does this simply not "grab" you? What do you mean by "everything"? By everything, do you mean all matter? Everything that which occupies the universe?

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freetoroam

The "Everything just happened" explanation, really doesn't grab me.

The only thing which I can think of what "just happened" is the IDEA that something just happened to make a man and a women.....this is not the case, life is much more complex than that.

Oh and another thing which JUST did not happen is an apple and a snake JUST happened to turn up in some garden one day.

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GoldenWolf

To quote Thomas Paine

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”

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Roy Perry

Hi nuclearwessel

I am not a religious person it makes sick But I belief in God like creature with belief and unbelief

I see God has more than can believe and less than can believe

I see Intelligence in the pattens of everything out there

everything had to come someone

Even a God

If break it down to one atom and then cut it smaller and then smaller and the smaller

you would have God yet but man cannot break things that small yet

keep on trying

That the I see it

Love Roy

Edited by Roy Perry

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Hyades

I do believe there is a loving force that acted somehow in creating human being.

I'm probably more agnostic. Now a days, I put in value in what make me live, I can't live without Air, I can't live without Water, I can't live without Fire, I can't live without Earth, I can't live without the Electromagnetic force.

As you are aware, the word god was invented by man to explained unexplainable event or miracle.

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Galactic Goatman

The "Everything just happened" explanation, really doesn't grab me.

I cannot put my believe in the idea that things as complex as horses, chickens, lizards and fish just sprang into existence one day.

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Nuclear Wessel

I cannot put my believe in the idea that things as complex as horses, chickens, lizards and fish just sprang into existence one day.

They didn't. Such complexity resulted from evolution over billions of years.

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Galactic Goatman

They didn't. Such complexity resulted from evolution over billions of years.

I know.

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UFO_Monster

I require evidence of something in order to accept that it exists. There is no hard evidence that a god exists, or has ever existed in the universe. Therefore, I have no reason to believe a god exists. It's really that simple.

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Liquid Gardens

Because it is impossible, therefore, to know whether evidence of a deity exists or not, it is also impossible to rationally/logically argue for or against some form of deity existing. This rules out theism and atheism as "non-beliefs" and exposes them as diametrically opposing beliefs, the adherents of whom simply manipulate one or both of the reasons I provided above, to justify their own belief. i.e. the Theist will deliberately ignore reason 2) - so justifying their theistic belief; while the atheist will deliberately ignore reason 1) in order to justify their atheistic belief.

I don't think the atheist ignores reason to justify their atheistic belief, depending on how one defines atheist. The way you have defined the problem the most salient point isn't the concept of 'deity', it seems more broadly to be the fact that, 'I can't rationally rule out that there are absolutely no examples of concept/category 'X' because 'X' hasn't been fully defined'; we can plug lots of values in for 'X'. Although I'm ultimately agnostic about everything, I can rationally call myself an atheist and not ignore reason and state that I'm a disbeliever in all specific concepts of deities that have been proposed and that I'm aware of so far. That there may be a specific God concept that I'm unaware of that may somehow be irrational for me to deny isn't really that more relevant that there may be some 'dragon' concept that I'm unaware of that actually did or does exist at this point.

I don't think there's anything irrational about not believing in things that have no evidence for them, seems to be the default for lots of other topics and concepts.

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