Author Topic: Do you believe in God?  (Read 12056 times)

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Offline Aphasia

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Do you believe in God?
« on: July 25, 2011, 01:03:03 AM »
Hello!

I was raised a christian.  Unlike my mother, father and sister I was a very luke warm christian.  Right now I would describe myself as agnostic.  My girlfriend and her brother are strong athiests.  Being exposed to a different way of thinking has inspired doubt in my heart.  I've been doing a lot of reading on evolution and watched tons of debates on the subject.  I still have a lot of unawnsered questions, most of which are common problems like the "Problem of evil", the likelyhood of the theory of evolution, Noah's arc shenannigans, etc.

Talking with my mother about my concerns brought her to tears.  I hate that.  I wish I could continue to ignore the things that don't make sense, like I have for a long time.  But more than that I want to be honest with myself.  I'm tired of meandering softly on the issue.

So, next logical step?  Consult the great thinkers of Skullknight.net of course!  I would love to hear your voice.  Do you believe in a God?  Were you raised in a religious environment?  If not, why?  If so, what is your reason?  Does faith play a big role in your life?  What would you reccomend for someone in my position?  

I've seen similar threads burst into flame on lesser forums.  Please be respectful.  Engage!

Offline Sokrei

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 01:17:05 AM »
Aphasia, check your messages.

Offline MrSmit

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 01:29:57 AM »
I am a Protestant Christian, and I was raised that way by my parents. My faith is based on trust in others' experiences as well as my own. I have seen God answer my prayers in ways that I just can't see as coincidence. Anyway, that's where I stand, and it's good to know there is a forum where we can have a discussion like this. I trust there won't be any blatant anger towards others in this thread.  :serpico:

Also, I 'lost hope' for evolution after reading this.

It was written about fifty years ago, but it is still mostly relevant to the fundamentals of what is being taught about evolution.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 01:45:15 AM by MrSmit »

Offline Slime_Beherit

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 02:20:38 AM »
I was raised catholic and am now a proud atheist. If you're having trouble imagining a world without Yaweh, then realize this, you have gone your whole life without believing in; Allah, Zeus, Horus, etc... you just have one more to not believe in.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 03:20:56 AM by Slime_Beherit »

Offline Aphasia

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 03:21:33 AM »
Aphasia, check your messages.

Got it.  Thanks!

I am a Protestant Christian, and I was raised that way by my parents. My faith is based on trust in others' experiences as well as my own. I have seen God answer my prayers in ways that I just can't see as coincidence. Anyway, that's where I stand, and it's good to know there is a forum where we can have a discussion like this. I trust there won't be any blatant anger towards others in this thread.  :serpico:

Cool.  Thanks for the response.  I'm open to arguments from both sides.  I might have to look into ordering this book.  Would be interesting to read a counter argument toward evolution.  Yeah, I'm glad too.  I think the majority of SKnet are adults who can handle other people living their lives according to their personal convictions.   :griffnotevil:

I was raised catholic and am now a proud atheist

That's neat.  Would you like to elaborate?  What influenced your decision?

If you're having trouble imagining a world without Yaweh, then realize this, you have gone your whole life without believing in; Allah, Zeus, Horus, etc... you just have one more to not believe in.

I think I remember Richard Dawkins making a similar claim in one of his videos.  If you haven't seen it already: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_militant_atheism.html

That's an interesting point.  I don't know if I can call myself a Christian right now, but I remember thinking how easily Christians dismiss other religions.  It's so easy for us because it's not our religion.  Without a second thought, usually.  In the same way it must be easy for an atheist to to dismiss the Christian God.  I remember someone saying "The difference between me and you is that I believe in one less God than you do." that really stuck with me.  We can't all be right.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 03:35:29 AM by Aphasia »

Offline Slime_Beherit

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 03:33:23 AM »
That's neat.  Would you like to elaborate?  What influenced your decision?

Sorry I was on my iPad.

Um, there were a couple of things that influenced me but one thing that really lingered in my mind was how every religion said they were right. All I could think to myself was "They can't all be right", all thses holy books seemed too have a lot of supernatural elements to them as well, things that don't ever happen now a days.

The bible itself seemed so cleverly crafted,  it really did a good job of cover all it's bases so no one should doubt it.Of course though evolution had a huge part in convincing me.

Offline mega_devastation

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 03:46:29 AM »
I'm atheist, i was raised catholic. i began to seriously question my parents faith around the time i turned 17. Instead of tears, my mom would get really angry with me when i questioned her about the faith she had raised me with. But none of the answers i got from her were satisfactory, especially the ones dealing with the problem of evil. Most of the time, people will say, 'God works in mysterious ways' which is sorta insulting when u know 1000s of children die of starvation everyday while their parents pray for a miracle.

the way i see it, theres too much wrong with religion to see it as something worth worshiping. Science is not perfect but it knows that and tries really hard at correcting its own mistakes, something that religions do not do. That means that eventually, scientists will find the answers. i can live without knowing all the answers, but its nice to know people are working on it.

and heres a quote that i really like, about living as an atheist:

“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and live. There is nothing more; I want nothing more.” —Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Offline Aphasia

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 04:08:25 AM »
Sorry I was on my iPad.

Um, there were a couple of things that influenced me but one thing that really lingered in my mind was how every religion said they were right. All I could think to myself was "They can't all be right", all thses holy books seemed too have a lot of supernatural elements to them as well, things that don't ever happen now a days.

The bible itself seemed so cleverly crafted,  it really did a good job of cover all it's bases so no one should doubt it.Of course though evolution had a huge part in convincing me.

You're good.  I'm on my IPad too.  Still getting used to it.  

A lot of people think miracles still happen today.  I've had some stuff happen to me that could be called a miracle.  Everyone around me proclaimed it as a miracle.  I even agreed with them for a time.  I mean, if something can't be expained it has to be supernatural right?  Not really so.  I'm sure we've all experienced something along these lines.  But then I realized you have to count the misses too.  Why would God save me vs someone else in the same position?  Did I have more faith than they did?  Surely their friends and family prayed just as hard to save their life.  

So does God pick and choose who to save?  I would love to hear an answer from a Christian on the boards.  I've heard responses but nothing that satisfies my curiosity.  "It's impossible to know Gods motivation" or "It was Gods will, it must've been their time to go" and "Bad things happen because there is Sin in the world.  It's unavoidable." "because Satan rules this world" etc, etc.  Are any of these satisfactory answers?  Or is this a matter of having faith?

The bible is the very thing making me doubt myself.  Not only are Christians motivated with promises of eternal life, but they're also threatened with hellfire if they refuse God.  That's kind of scary, especially if you were raised with this stuff.  "let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."

Is it so bad to doubt?  Even scarier, the prospect that denying God is the worst sin, above murder and adultery.




Offline Slime_Beherit

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 04:13:54 AM »
Either Yahweh isnt omniscient or he's a sadist

Offline Grail

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 05:15:42 AM »
This is a very interesting thread, thanks for starting the conversation, Aphasia! I've always wondered how personal religious feelings factor into a Berserk reader's mindset, given its sometimes biting critique of organized religion; but maybe that's another conversation. :guts: As for me, I go by the old Dark Horse translation of a certain quote from volume 21... "If you see God, you tell Him this... Leave me the hell alone!!!"

 :puck:

Offline Turkitage

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 05:16:09 AM »
That's kind of scary, especially if you were raised with this stuff.  "let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."

Is it so bad to doubt?  Even scarier, the prospect that denying God is the worst sin, above murder and adultery.

Reminds me of this: Jesus said: "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned."

Wasn't one of the commandments not to kill/murder?

So, next logical step?  Consult the great thinkers of Skullknight.net of course!  I would love to hear your voice.  Do you believe in a God?  Were you raised in a religious environment?  If not, why?  If so, what is your reason?  Does faith play a big role in your life?  What would you reccomend for someone in my position?  

Quick run down: Parents came from Turkey/Iran when they were mid 20s to the United States. They were Muslim. Got married in United States and became Christian and Americanized themselves the best they could - they changed their names/birthdays and everything. Went to Church often with the family when I was young, but this was to fit in to american culture at the time. Then we eventually stopped going as I started getting to middle school. It seems most kids stop going to church around that same age too, from what I gather. Parents never really bought into the religion thing, they simply switched to help prevent discrimination.


My thoughts... there are a lot of nit-picky stuff in the bible that I have a hard time believing. But overall I can't prove or disprove God or even anything in existence. There is a high probability (I feel) that you can't prove or disprove anything in this world to be true or not true. I never understood how some people could be so blindly passion about something that can't be proven or not proven. I think most of it comes from the culture and assumptions people were born into. Peoples core belief systems typically would come from their environment and basic assumptions of reality. However, a lot of these assumptions are just assumed facts that they accept. So I feel that plays a huge factor in peoples lives even when they grow older to make choices on their own. It's why some people believe in their religion that might encourage killing other people (an extreme example). Now, objectively there is nothing wrong or right with killing people so if that's what they believe in, go for it - This is not something I prefer.

It's kind of off topic but the reason I'm mentioning it is because as much as you want to think about it, Aphasia, you'll probably come back to the same answer that you have - that you still don't know. I think the people who exercise "faith" helps them remain positive and expect justice (based on their own personal core believe system) so they can keep moving forward in their existence. Wishful thinking or a cop out, who knows?

So, just do what I do, Aphasia, and believe (or don't believe) in one thing: nothing.
"I'm oversensitive about bad jokes." - Griffith." -Turk <3

Offline Gobolatula

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2011, 06:44:32 AM »
I was raised Catholic and still am Catholic.

I don't give much of a hoot about what others believe or don't believe in. There are so many different types of faith and I think a good idea to realize that what works for you may not work for someone else.

Offline Truder

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2011, 07:04:02 AM »
I believe in God, I don't believe in religion.

Offline Delta Phi

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 08:28:09 AM »
I was raised Christian but wasn't exposed to church services until I was 5 years old at which point my parents became members of the First Presbyterian church. As years went by I just went through the motions. Sunday school and church services once a week with a few events on the side. Nothing ground breaking. My faith wasn't solid, but I always believed God was there watching and listening.

Things get a little awkward at this point, so excuse me. It was about 6th grade that I could finally name what was wrong with me. I was gay and extremely confused. My dad never gave me "the talk" and I had to learn the basics second hand from movies, friends, science class, and the guidance counselor. It was also about this time that my sister (who is 4 years older than me) came back from some kind of church retreat where her and one of my close friends (who attended the same church as us) had learned about some verses in Ezekiel and the very famous Leviticus verses. The news of what they had learned passed on to me and I instantly began to panic.

From about that point on I started praying at night whenever I couldn't sleep. Usually about some inconsequential thing and then I would always finish by asking God to fix me--that is, make me heterosexual.

A year or two passed and my religious studies began to get deeper. My aforementioned close friend began learning about the core beliefs of the Presbyterian church we grew up in, which was pretty much Calvinism verbatim. I quickly took hold of the subject matter and devoted a serious amount of time to the understanding of its dogma. At this same time I began asking questions to my religious peers about the ultimate destination of homosexuals. My fear of burning in Hell reached a climax and I began to pray nightly, pleading that God help me overcome my great sin.

Around my sophomore/junior year in high school I was spending a lot of time reading the Bible and talking with my friend. Things start to get really convoluted so I'll try and give a simplified version. Basically I spent a lot of weekends talking about Christianity with a somewhat motley crew. There were two reformed Calvinists (my friend and I), a Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic (who was previously a Calvinist as well), a Church of Christ who recently became reformed Calvinist, a Calvinist who was currently becoming Roman Catholic, and an Atheist (who quickly learned to stop showing up, or at least stop participating in the conversations)

The big discussion was usually why creationism was logical and necessary in our universe and why Christianity was the only logical religion that fit into that formula. Discussion would always move onto Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism vs. Calvinism and eventually a stalemate would be reached at which both groups would promise to come up with a rebuttal for the next weekend. As my knowledge and understanding of Calvinism and Catholicism expanded it only helped to worsen my fears.

Eventually the Catholics posed an question that couldn't be answered by the Calvinists. This was in the summer after my senior year of high school. We spent weeks trying to figure out and answer to the inherent dilemma of Sola Scriptura, the believe that the Bible is infallible, which is something a large majority of Protestant faiths believe. The only answer we kept coming to was that God had to ordain man to be able to interpret his word. In other words the Pope, Bishops, etc. Very quickly the small band of Calvinists unraveled. Most turned to Pre-Vatican II Catholicism. I, however, was completely crushed. My entire set of believes fell flat on their face and I was left questioning what was real and what wasn't. And this was all on top of me still struggling with my homosexuality. For the last 7 years I had spent, on average, praying for God to fix me. There were even several occasions that I swore to serve the church exclusively after high school and yet I still had this nagging sin. There were several moments where I came close to killing myself, but I was only halted because of the inherent sin of suicide. My life was miserable.

Upon going to college I stopped attending church. I left my Bible at home. In fact I still haven't cracked it open since I left. Eventually I renounced my faith as a Presbyterian to my parents and told them I was gay. I became a Deist for most of my college years. I chose to finally accept myself and I stopped praying. My stress level plummeted and I've recently become the happiest I've ever been in my life when my significant other and I decided to devote the rest of our lives together.

Currently, I choose to live my life as a kind and loving person. And I like to think Christ, if he is truly the son of God, would appreciate that. I just do what makes me happy. As for what'll happen after I die, I don't know. But I plan to find out eventually.

Really sorry if that was boring.

PS.  Also sorry for any grammatical/spelling mistakes :/

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 09:10:55 AM »
I was raised a christian.  Unlike my mother, father and sister I was a very luke warm christian.  Right now I would describe myself as agnostic.  My girlfriend and her brother are strong athiests.  Being exposed to a different way of thinking has inspired doubt in my heart.  I've been doing a lot of reading on evolution and watched tons of debates on the subject.  I still have a lot of unawnsered questions, most of which are common problems like the "Problem of evil", the likelyhood of the theory of evolution, Noah's arc shenannigans, etc.

Honestly it's retarded to debate the fact evolution occurs in this world. And that debate pretty much only happens in the USA, too. People should try to adapt their views to that fact instead of going against it, because it's a lost battle. They didn't want to believe that the Earth revolved around the Sun at first either. See how that ended up. Same with everything else. In that regard, I see fundamentalism as being very backwards (and dare I say stupid). Especially considering what I'm telling Slime_Beherit at the bottom of this post.

So, next logical step?  Consult the great thinkers of Skullknight.net of course!  I would love to hear your voice.  Do you believe in a God?  Were you raised in a religious environment?  If not, why?  If so, what is your reason?  Does faith play a big role in your life?  What would you reccomend for someone in my position?

I tend to describe myself as an agnostic, although my actual state of mind might more accurately be summed up as not giving a shit. I was raised in an environment that didn't care much for religion in general. Was baptized to please some great-grandmother but my parents never went to church or anything. We're called the Old Continent for a good reason, and despite the fact each little village here has a church that's built in stone and is hundreds of years old, few people are religious anymore. Islam is a little bit more lively due to the immigrants of the past 60 years (just like the Catholic immigrants who preceded them had rekindled that flame), but barely. Mostly the young people will observe Ramadan and avoid eating pork, and that's the end of it. Same inconsistencies you'll find with the vast majority of "believers" across all religions nowadays. So yeah, the environment in my country isn't exactly prone to being a serious worshipper, regardless of what your faith is. Most people keep it to themselves. Hope that satisfies your curiosity.

Now, about what you should do. Honestly, your current choice seems to be the best to me given your situation. Obviously in your case the big hurdle is to manage to tolerate/be tolerated by your family and your girlfriend/friends at the same time. Again, that's a very American problem. I mean religion isn't something I'd even care to discuss if I knew it was a controversial topic, and you'd think a mother could love her son regardless of his spiritual choices. Anyways, being an Agnostic works perfectly in your case, though it requires some degree of hypocrisy. First off, it's the most logical choice. If there's a God that exists outside of our universe, we by definition cannot be aware of Its existence. That's undeniable. Obviously that wouldn't be the Christian God, but hey, it's a God at least.

Second, you can agree with most of what your atheist buddies will say and state that being Agnostic is a technicality, a position they can't refute (nor are likely to care much about) if you word it properly. Same for Christians or others, although that'll be harder. Tell them you're bothered by inconsistencies and other elements in said organized religion and have moved on to believing in your own creed. That you're keeping all the good stuff (be good, help others, killing is bad, etc.) and letting go of the more dubious stuff (list is long). Depending on your ability to argue and be dishonest this could be settled over a lengthy, excruciating dinner without breaking too many hearts.

The bible itself seemed so cleverly crafted,  it really did a good job of cover all it's bases so no one should doubt it.Of course though evolution had a huge part in convincing me.

Keep in mind what you're calling the Bible is most likely an old, not very accurate translation of a collection of documents that have been heavily edited (content deleted, added, rewritten) over the centuries. A lot of people tend to forget that. I'm interested in religious texts (all of them) myself from a historical and mythological perspective.

Offline Sokrei

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2011, 11:10:23 AM »
Sorry to butt in Aaz, but it is not called the fact of evolution, but the theory of evolution -- even today. It is mostly a theory because it goes against the laws of physics, such as the law of biogenesis and the second law of thermodynamics (aka the law of entropy).

The law of biogenesis states that living things only come from living things. A rock does not turn into something alive. A cellphone will not walk away. To take it a step further, even something that was living cannot spawn living things from it -- a piece of meat will not spawn maggots/flies/jane fonda/etc.

The second law of thermodynamics is often called the law of entropy, which basically means that things go from order to disorder (and that all the energy in the universe is running out). What this means is that things cannot get more complex without some sort of energy being put into it to make it so (an outside source). Here is an example:

A person builds a house and then leaves it alone. Left to its own devices, the house will decay unless energy from outside the house is put into it to keep it from wearing out. To take this a step further, this house will never turn into a mansion on its own, because in order for that to happen an outside source of energy would need to be put into it. This is the law of entropy.

These are the laws of the universe. They cannot be bent or broken. They did not get the title of "law" by being proven wrong.

And this is without even going into the internal inconsistencies with evolution -- like how survival of the fittest goes against itself. There is also irreducible complexity, which states that in a complex system, if you take out one piece of it, it will not work, and therefore make the rest of the system useless.

There is also irreducible complexity, which states that if you take out one piece of a complex system, it will not work, rendering the rest of the pieces useless. A good example of this is an eye (or even a cell). If one piece were taken out of these systems, they would be rendered useless. This goes against evolution which says that evolution occurs very slowly over millions of years. Then there is the attempt by evolutionists to explain this away by coining the term "spontaneous evolution", which means that something may inexplicably gain an entire complex system on its own (which breaks the second law of thermodynamics), in order to counter this.

If anyone needs to me to clarify these definitions, I will brush up on my research. It has been a loooooooong time.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2011, 11:23:28 AM »
Sorry to butt in Aaz, but it is not called the fact of evolution, but the theory of evolution -- even today.

Yeah yeah, I'm sorry myself (doubly so for being blunt) but I don't care to discuss this with you. There's enough people discussing it all the time as it is (with very good and detailed resources available online), and I spend way too much time proving people wrong on this forum to bother getting involved in non-Berserk arguments. Stick to your beliefs as much as you want, if rationalizing your faith with pseudo-scientific knowledge helps you deal with it then good for you. Nothing personal, I'm just not interested in saying more than I have already, seeing that this thread's goal is as far as I'm concerned simply to help Aphasia deal with his family's reception of his differing views on religion. I do recommend you to brush up on your "research" though.

Offline Sokrei

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2011, 12:12:29 PM »
I liked the part where you flamed me instead of speaking against my logic or whatnot, Aaz. Very mature.

Offline MrSmit

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2011, 12:17:51 PM »
I disagree with Aaz on evolution, but I agree with him in that this thread shouldn't turn into Evolution vs Creation arguments.
But feel free to post reasons why you personally have your beliefs (as I did).

Offline Sokrei

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 12:28:15 PM »
Thank you, Smit. Also, how do I edit my posts? I'm new around these parts.

Also, I never stated my beliefs. How's that saying about assuming go?

Offline MrSmit

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2011, 12:36:52 PM »
Thank you, Smit. Also, how do I edit my posts? I'm new around these parts.

Also, I never stated my beliefs. How's that saying about assuming go?

Above your post, you can click 'Modify.'

Also, I said feel free to state beliefs. I didn't say that you did.  :schnoz:

Offline Sokrei

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2011, 12:59:06 PM »
Also, I said feel free to state beliefs. I didn't say that you did.  :schnoz:

Aaz assumed I stated them, not you. Apologies for the confusion.

Offline zrexe

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2011, 01:03:54 PM »
I liked the part where you flamed me instead of speaking against my logic or whatnot, Aaz. Very mature.

Well Sokrei, Aaz is right, these Creationism vs. Evolution debates have already been very well explored by scientists like Dawkins/Sagan/Darwin...etc. The conclusion from all these debates is that Evolution can explain far more than Creationism can ever hope to. The core argument which creationism proposes ultimately reduces to: 'It's so complex, therefore someone must have designed it! How can something so complex come about by chance?' This shows much ignorance about evolution: A theory yes, but a theory which BEST explains the biological diversity we've seen so far. Until Creationism can give a better explanation than evolutionary theory, it remains as hocus pocus, and a vehicle for the Christian movement. 

The fact that you mentioned about the 'eye' problem already shows how many levels beneath the current levels of academia you are. Darwin already discussed this issue at length in the Origin of Species, the very first book regarding evolution, as well as propose a convincing explanation for that, with evidence. In addition, your point of 'survival of the fittest' also adds to the ignorance which you currently display. It was always about the survival of the most adaptable to the current biological niche. Thus, please do more research before you continue to spout more pseudo-science.

Offline Oburi

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2011, 01:14:05 PM »
Sorry to hear about your mom being in tears Aphasia, it's never a pretty sight. I won't go into my beliefs but this is what I've said to me own family (I live with bloodthirsty, tea bagging, conservatives) when they bother me about church. I simply say that I don't have faith like they do. Some have it, others don't. I have none and frankly, if I live my entire life as a "decent" human being and I am good to others (not always perfect but always trying), if at the end of my life I meet god at the pearly gates and he tells me that he's sorry but I'm damned to eternal fire because I didn't have blind faith and worship him specifically ... well fine. Send me to hell, I wouldn't want to be part of that club anyway. I know I lived a good life and I'm happy with my choices. I don't think I'll deserve an eternity in hell for it.

On personal note, I grew up in a strict catholic family and went to a private school. That means church every sunday, confession every first of the month, saying prayers before and after meals and reading sermons in front of the church. Oddly enough, once me parents separated they both gave up on religion altogether and now live much happier lives remarried. That always seemed to tell me something about the people that go to church.  

Offline zrexe

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2011, 01:31:28 PM »
So, next logical step?  Consult the great thinkers of Skullknight.net of course!  I would love to hear your voice.  Do you believe in a God?  Were you raised in a religious environment?  If not, why?  If so, what is your reason?  Does faith play a big role in your life?  What would you reccomend for someone in my position?  

Sorry for the double posting, and derailing. I think I should keep to the topic.

I currently describe myself as an agnostic atheist. If there was a scale of 1 - 10 (Theist - Atheist). I would call myself a 9/10 atheist. Unless, I see compelling evidence, I do not believe in one. However, there is that small window where if real evidence is presented, I will be inclined to believe in a God.

I was raised in a hodge pod of different religions. My mother believed in Chinese Taoism, my granny whom I lived with for my formative years was a Buddhist, while my father claimed he was Christian, just so that his Christian sisters and mother, would stop bothering to convert him.  His personal opinion is that Religion is for the weak and he never goes to Church, although he has read the Bible cover to cover. My sisters have gone to church when they were young due to the influence of my father's extended family, but they stopped believing ever since they were in their teenage years.

Myself, I went to Chinese Temples with my mom when I was young, and went through numerous rituals to pray for fortune, health and the like. When I was 21, my mother stopped asking me to go. I never once went back, nor asked her why she didn't ask me to go with her again. I started becoming curious about all religions, and read up on many of them because I have good and close friends who have converted to Christianity, because of Evangelists. Of course, I was asked to join as well. However, there were many questions which could not be answered to my satisfaction. Many of them which you have already come across.

Anyway, my personal belief is that rationalism is the way to go. As long as whatever you do is backed up my logic and good reason, then you should feel at ease with yourself. There are many people out there who are pre-disposed to believe in a personal God, and no matter what facts appear before them, they will choose to twist those facts to suit their own beliefs. I am scientifically trained, and therefore I will never accept what people tell me at face value, not unless they are backed by good logic. Thus, I believe that faith in a personal god will never play a big role in my life.

As for recommendations. I suggest believing in your fellow humans. Most people turn to religion for strength or moral guidance. The Golden Rule is one heck of a moral instrument, and one does not necessarily need to turn to religion to do good. Believe that people are inherently good, and try to treat all of them nice. It is difficult, but at least it makes life more fulfilling. As for strength and motivation, I guess you could look towards friends and families(maybe not). Your girlfriend will be a good start.

I have personally seen some of my good friends fall prey to evangelicals during times where they hit a rough spot. I found that sinister and opportunistic. To horribly (mis)quote Berserk, "People believe in a God because they need a reason for all the bad things that they do or happen to them." You sound like you are in a rough spot. However, just remember that shit happens to everyone. You do not have to sacrifice your healthy scepticism towards supreme being, for support.

Hope my rambling has helped you in any way possible.