Author Topic: Do you believe in God?  (Read 12654 times)

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Offline Sokrei

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2011, 01:36:25 PM »
zrexe, I completely agree with you that reasoning should guide a person's beliefs. That is how I came upon my beliefs.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2011, 03:16:43 PM »
I'm ignostic. :griffnotevil:

Offline Konketsuji

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2011, 03:52:26 PM »
I was raised as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, but as I was growing up my brain started developing, too bad I started questioning things a bit later at the age of 16, I suppose. But anyway, I'm sorry for all sensitive guys, but goddamn, not believing in evolution is completely retarded. Science be Praised! =)

Offline IncantatioN

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2011, 03:54:45 PM »
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.
I think this makes a lot of sense.

Sorry to hear about the incident with your Mom, Aphasia. I wish you good luck with finding your path of belief(s). There has been some real good advice in this thread so far. But, if anything, this is a little background about me - I was raised a Zoroastrian (it pre-dates Christianity or Hinduism or Islam) and my great great grandparents traveled East after the persecution of the Zoroastrians by the Muslims eons ago. A majority of the persecuted Zoroastrians landed in India and that's where I grew up. India as a lot of people may know is pretty diverse religion~wise. (In my teens) I didn't think I needed to go to a Fire Temple as long as I believed in the religion's core belief - Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. I live my life believing and incorporating those core words, and don't wear the religious vest or the religious thread around our waist that we're supposed to everyday. If you think about it, it's more like believing in 'karma'.

What I'm trying to say is that go with what you believe in and not what everyone around you follows or believes in. There's no absolute right or wrong. If I were you in your position, I'd take my time with finding the answers. It's your life and you decide how you want to live it.
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Offline Tzur

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2011, 05:04:24 PM »
I was raised Episcopalian, although my family isn't extremely religious. My dad's family is very Catholic, but I don't have much respect for the Catholic Church and their supersessionist theology. I'd call myself an agnostic faith-wise, although theologically I might be called Pandeist. I found I have a deep interest in the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, and have been teaching myself some Hebrew. My interests are purely historical and cultural however. Religion just doesn't suit me personally.

I was raised a Zoroastrian

Wow, that's cool. I've always thought Zoroastrianism was an interesting religion, it's a shame that its numbers of adherents continue to dwindle to due persecutions, conversions, and the fact they don't accept converts. You should be proud of your heritage, and smirk when people stare at you blankly.


Offline Skeleton

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2011, 07:17:54 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?

I wasnít raised in a particularly religious household.  As a child, we would attend church on Easter and Christmas, but we stopped going altogether when I was still young.  We never really seemed to actively practice religion.  It was just assumed everyone believed in God/Jesus and that was that.

Most of the time, I donít care enough to believe or not believe in Yahweh or any other spiritual entity.  I personally donít see any sort of divine interference in our world (such as miracles) so the question of whether or not a deity exists, and if it does exist what impact it has on our world, is moot.  After all, for me there are three options:  Either Yahweh or other deities donít exist, they do exist but donít or canít affect our world (such as by performing miracles), or Yahweh or other deities do exist but their influence is imperceptible to humans.  No matter which of those three options is fact doesnít matter to me because they all lead to the same result:  That we live in a world where, for all intents and purposes, there are no gods or God.  After all, if they donít exist, obviously thereís no deity.  If they do exist but canít or wonít affect our world, it's as if they donít exist.  And if they do exist and directly affect our world in an extremely subtle or imperceptible way, we have absolutely no way of knowing or acknowledging it so thereís no reason to care about it.  So I just live my life, apathetic towards the divine/spiritual.

Sometimes I want to believe in deities (sometimes itís Yahweh, sometimes itís pagan gods, sometimes itís spirits, etc), but usually thereís a mundane reason for it so I donít truly want to believe in Him or them.  For example, I have extremely low self-esteem/confidence so sometimes (most of the time) itís hard for me to recognize my own inner strength.  Since I canít see strength within, I often feel helpless because I donít think I am capable of achieving what I desire on my own which makes me look for strength without.  So when I desire God, or a god, to exist in that situation, it has more to do with my lack of self-worth and confidence than it does with me truly desiring a relationship with a deity.  Another example is a simple one.  I rarely think about it, but sometimes when I think about death it makes me want to believe in an afterlife or a deity that can continue my existence after this physical form ends.  But that has less to do with me truly desiring a relationship with a deity or wanting to know one exists and more to do with my survival extinct (obviously an organism programmed to survive dislikes the idea of its own demise).  Anyway, Iím sure this is more than anyone has ever wanted to know about meÖ

I think you should just research as much as you can about religion and spirituality in general.  Study Christianity as much as possible.  Study every religion.  See what you like.  See what you donít like.  You might find a religion that speaks to you or you might decide religion/spirituality isnít your thing.  Or, by studying other religions, it could deepen your understanding of and faith in Christianity.  Whatever the outcome may be, at least youíll have a good idea of what others believe and where theyíre coming from.  And Iíd probably shy away from talking about religion and spirituality with your mother.  Itís good to have an open relationship with your family.  But, to me, if all it will do is cause pain or conflict, itís probably better to not broadcast it.  Just look at it as a positive (you're sparing your mom the pain, worry, and conflict) instead of a negative (not being completely open with your parent).

Offline Konketsuji

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2011, 03:30:34 PM »
Wow, I'm kind of shocked, to tell the truth this is my first time in English speaking forum. All thanks to Berserk my greatest passion among all. So anyway I read all kinds of interesting threads and it's just beautiful, especially reading how the smart people discuss serious things. After communicating with a lot of fucktards on the local forums it seemed just perfect. But goddamn everything shattered just like that, talking about stuff that doesn't make sense... Just read some books by Richard Dawkins for fuck's sakes. Come on, western society, I look up to you!

Offline Griffith

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2011, 03:47:45 PM »
Wow, I'm kind of shocked, to tell the truth this is my first time in English speaking forum. All thanks to Berserk my greatest passion among all. So anyway I read all kinds of interesting threads and it's just beautiful, especially reading how the smart people discuss serious things. After communicating with a lot of fucktards on the local forums it seemed just perfect.

Yeah, well don't be the one to spoil it. :griffnotevil:

But goddamn everything shattered just like that, talking about stuff that doesn't make sense... Just read some books by Richard Dawkins for fuck's sakes. Come on, western society, I look up to you!

You probably shouldn't look west of the Atlantic in this regard.

Offline Konketsuji

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2011, 04:03:15 PM »
Yeah, well don't be the one to spoil it. :griffnotevil:
Well, I will try not to. :griffnotevil: It's nothing about you,  or Aaz, you guys sound sane enough.  :griffnotevil: Nah, I'm just kidding, you guys are fucking smart and I love it, and I'm just being honest, I would love to have friends like that in the real life. It's just I was really impressed that some people are still believe in some crazy-ass stories in the 21st century.

Offline NightCrawler

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2011, 05:15:02 PM »
I'm a heathen. Fortunately my parents didn't baptize me and let me decide for myself when i was of age. I saw all my friends going to sunday school and all that, even attending some catholic chrism rites. I knew enough to make up my mind about the uselessness of religion, even though i respect the necessity for people to have their fears, insecurities and doubts directed at some thing. Actually let me put in that in other words, i respect personal faith but not organized religion, nor any other moldy customs and traditions (religious or otherwise).

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Offline Lithrael

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2011, 06:22:11 PM »
Great post, Piscator.  Very close to my thoughts and well put.  These days I don't find myself really hoping for a deity though - I'm cool with the idea of world being what it is simply because it's the way things work, but I'd be pretty bemused if this was the best some deity could manage.  I might fear mortality a little but I honestly can't bring myself to buy the idea that life after death is supernaturally possible - and I also get the impression that if I manage to get old enough I won't fear mortality much by then anyway.  The fact that there are people out there fighting the very idea of evolution tooth and claw, fighting family planning, fighting gay marriage, thinking Mother Theresa was a great old lady, worrying how some deity is going to judge them... it creeps me out too much to end up with an overall good opinion of religion. 

Itís good to have an open relationship with your family.  But, to me, if all it will do is cause pain or conflict, itís probably better to not broadcast it.  Just look at it as a positive (you're sparing your mom the pain, worry, and conflict) instead of a negative (not being completely open with your parent).

Agreed.

Offline Emp_Gaiseric

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2011, 08:20:27 PM »
I was raised Methodist, I consider myself Christian though I do not go to church often because of some major hypocrises I have witnessed.

I believe in God and Jesus because my heart feels empty and hurts without them, and to me that is the main reason to believe.

I was raised witht heh idea that it is not wrong to question faith, because if you only go with what is ingrained then it isn't really faith.

I was also taught that God is responsible for the good in the world, the Devil is responsible for the evil, but man was given the option to choose between the two. God doesn't control the world, he just already knows what you will choose because he knows you that well.

Finally I think that no matter what the religion, everyone who chooses to ultimately worships the same god. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic all stem from the same idea of God, and I think that polytheistic religions worship the individual personified aspects of a single god that they need at the time.

I also think that God and evolution are not mutually exclusive. God made the universe and thus all the laws that govern it and keep it from falling apart around us.

Fortunately no one can tell you how to believe, and even if your head gets in the way, I believe that you will know in your heart if there is a God or not.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 09:10:26 PM by Emp_Gaiseric »

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2011, 10:24:28 PM »
In the end I prefer to stay humble about topics like this since there's so many people who take it soooo incredibly serious...

I was quasi-raised Episcopalian Christian but quickly grew interested in other ideas.

I believe organized religion is a product of conditioning, whether you do it on your own or it's done to you through parenting, institutionalization, the media, or otherwise. To me the easiest thing to do it seems would be to fall in line with what you've been told throughout your life. It seems a lot more fun to make something up of your own if you need to believe in something, but then you lose out on the comfort and socialization (pretty important to some) that come with organization.... unless you can manage to get a following on your own that is.

 :griffnotevil:

Personally I prefer The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and The Church of the SubGenius (Hail Bob!), if I'm feeling lonely, scared, or paranoid about the world and everything.
 

Offline Lithrael

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2011, 12:05:35 AM »
Heh!  I'd watched some movie about the Subgenius a long time ago and didn't see the appeal, but there's a radio station around here that plays their sermons sometimes.  I've caught one or two while driving around in the middle of the night, and that is some excellent stuff.

Offline Emp_Gaiseric

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2011, 08:52:09 PM »
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is awesome. I recently did a pro-spaghetti monster paper for an English class. It amuses me how pissed some church groups get about it becasue they think just because the creator of the church is athiest that they are anti-church, but the're not, they are just pro-separation church and state (especially in classrooms).

I guess Guts and the others are going to really increase global warming with all the pirates they are fighting.

Offline Death May Die

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2011, 09:54:17 PM »
I was raised Catholic, and but I don't practice it much these days. I disliked the Catholic school I grew up in. Every time I got to church I see the people who made my child hood a living hell. When I go to church I find a mix between frustration and yet some fond memories. I believe in a God and Jesus. I believe in evolution too.

I remember a South Park episode strangely that brought up a good point about evolution of all things.
Quote
Can't evolution be the answer to how, but not why?
I thought it was a good suggestion on the topic.

Lately I have been reading some Edger Casey books about his claims made from self induced subconscious traces into the afterlife. He has a lot to say about reincarnation. Which I simply wanted to bring that into the picture to discuss as well, does anyone believe in reincarnation? Do we only live once?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 01:08:38 AM by Death May Die »

Offline Lithrael

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2011, 02:55:25 PM »
Science in general is all supposed to be about how and not why.  Fans of science will tell you anything else is a misunderstanding the same way Christians will tell you anything not in the spirit of 'love thy neighbor' is a misunderstanding.  For example even a question like 'why do we have empathy' is really asking and trying to answer the question 'how did we end up with empathy'.  Why never needs to come into it.

Offline Viral Harvest

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2011, 04:11:50 AM »
Catholic turned agnostic in my pre-teens/early teens (can't really pinpoint exactly where for the life of me, just key events that led up to that point) and atheist since I was about 17. Although from time to time I find myself teetering in between agnosticism and atheism, but never any further even though I feel the two are interchangeable. I would consider myself a skeptic by default.

I'm absolutely horrified by what I've read here so far and how a potential myth has caused some of you so much grief and pain. Though I was raised Catholic, I had the crutch of an extremely loving and understanding family in all of my decisions, even my conversion to atheism. I was never made to feel guilty or inferior because of my lack of belief though I'm sure they'd prefer if I adopted some sort of spirituality, but it never made sense to me in the slightest to do so. When I was in 1st grade, I was sent to an afterschool Catholic program that was supposed to prep you through your way past communion, and finally, confirmation. In 5th grade I remember we had a class discussion about Adam and Eve being the origins of all humans not 10,000 years ago.

Puzzled, I asked "Wouldn't their genes overlap and cause retardation and deformities over hundreds of generations?". Shocked, my religion teacher responded with "Well don't you believe in miracles?". That moment probably marked my perpetual escape from Catholicism. Sure, I received communion and confirmation - but more-so as a family tradition than a spiritual one. Also, I did not have any sort of developed ideology on the subject until after I was out of High School and found Sartre, Camus, Emma Goldman, Nietzsche, etc. That stuff resonated with me much more than any sort of religion ever has. Still, there's flaws in all of those works too but I found it at least a bit more plausible than some totalitarian yet benevolent deity. Though works of fiction, The Mysterious Stranger and Paradise Lost bring up a bunch of excellent points on the matter as well.

Admittedly, my experiences with atheism are all in direct opposition of western Abrahamic religions. I've only briefly dipped my hands into Eastern religions and philosophies and I guess if I'm going to give any credit, they seem less brutally oppressive in their ideals. A majority of the people I've talked to speak of "spiritual experiences", faith, and the affirmation of a higher power. I have experienced none of those things, ever. I know people say that you need to be "open" to it, but it has always seemed a bit tutti frutti to me. However, I will say this - I don't think spirituality can be defined for you. You can't read it in a book as absolute truth. Hell, it could all be metaphorical political jargon written by aristocrats at the time. Is there an origin to everything? Absolutely. But I don't think it is what we think it is, and if it exists I don't think it's conscious of itself or even a god at all. That's about as far as I'll go though. I am certain that a fictitious male being is not up there playing supreme court with the Earth. Questioning your faith is fucking painful, and I wish anyone who does so the best of luck and hope you find peace one way or another.
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Offline Rhombaad

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2011, 03:24:38 PM »
I was raised on Christian beliefs (we even had VHS tapes that chronicled different stories from the bible in an animated format, called The Greatest Stories Ever Told), but I was never forced to go to Sunday school or a youth group by my parents. My Mom lamented recently that she wished they raised us better when it came to church, but she said it in more of a joking manner. My Dad is a born again Christian and my mom was raised in a Christian household, but they are extremely tolerant of my beliefs and the beliefs of my two siblings.

I hooked up with a pretty religious girl during my last year in high school and joined a pretty fundamentalist Bible study group in college. I really wish I hadn't, because both my ex-girlfriend's family and the Bible study group really warped my original thinking regarding Christianity. I also suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, and had a terrible time in college because of the combination of the two. I'm pretty scientific minded, and always have been, and that didn't jive well with my new found faith, either. I struggled a lot with the idea of evolution and creation being or not being mutually exclusive.

Over the years, I've moved further and further away from Christianity, due mainly to my further pursuit of scientific fact and archaeological findings. I've come to the conclusion that I never really believed in most of Christianity's teachings (although I think the Golden Rule is absolute genius, whether Jesus of Nazareth, a rabbi or some other individual came up with it). I always felt a tug on my heart and a "wrongness" whenever I was in church or heard things like, "If you don't accept that Jesus Christ is your personal savior, then you are doomed to an eternity in Hell." So you're telling me that all the Jews that were murdered in the Holocaust are going to be sent to Hell during the Final Judgment? That just doesn't seem like something a rational, omnipotent, eternally good entity would do to his creations. It's rather petty and sadistic.

These days I'm proud to say that I'm 99.9% agnostic. I don't know whether or not God exists, but I don't think Mankind will ever be able to prove or disprove His existence. I still feel a tug every now and then towards Christianity and the fear that one day I will burn in Hell for eternity, but I chock that up to my OCD and the overwhelming scrupulosity that I feel because of it sometimes, as well as the radical teachings I got mixed up in when I was younger. Regardless of what I believe, I don't think anyone else can convince you whether or not God exists, or what God or gods to believe in; that choice is entirely up to the individual.

Offline Emp_Gaiseric

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2011, 09:09:29 PM »
Quote
Still, there's flaws in all of those works too but I found it at least a bit more plausible than some totalitarian yet benevolent deity.

God is not totalitarian (according to scripture he gives man free will with a few guidelines) the churches are, and that is a major hipocrisy that is the reason why I'm still christian but don't attend church often.

Offline MrSmit

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2011, 05:08:03 PM »
Puzzled, I asked "Wouldn't their genes overlap and cause retardation and deformities over hundreds of generations?". Shocked, my religion teacher responded with "Well don't you believe in miracles?". That moment probably marked my perpetual escape from Catholicism.

I also wondered about this for a while. I found the explanation at Answers in Genesis (Search for 'Biological Deformities') quite satisfactory.

Offline Lithrael

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2011, 08:27:15 PM »
Something tells me that if Viral's teacher had said "genes back then were perfect, they've just got worse these days because of sin" he would not have gone "oh, okay then" and continued on his way, at least not for very long.   

I think faith is at its best when it's not so worried about every word in its texts that it must explain how the things that appear to contradict reality really make sense - and in the process of explaining create new contradictions. 

Offline Viral Harvest

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #47 on: August 01, 2011, 02:46:52 AM »
I also wondered about this for a while. I found the explanation at Answers in Genesis (Search for 'Biological Deformities') quite satisfactory.

I don't know if that link was supposed to be a serious suggestion or not, but I choked on my dinner from a sort of comedic value that I'm sure wasn't intended by the author. With all due respect of course, if this was serious. To each his own.
"If I could strike one blow to spite their force, though I might bear one hundred more, I would wear the welts like rubies, and the shackles for a crown. And if I had one hundred hearts I would throw them all before their bullets before I'd sell a single one to wield their power. So lest we fall out of love with life, let us give all we have to give - for only a fool would cling to this world."

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2011, 02:58:30 AM »
I am also an agnostic atheist. My maternal grandparents were religious but lived mostly secular lifestyles and my paternal grandparents took their religion fairly seriously but somehow never imposed on my father (strange, I know). So my mother is a monotheist who has little if any beliefs that would apply to a specific religion and my father became an agnostic atheist. I wasn't really exposed to any religious doctrine until I was 9 and by that time the stories didn't sound realistic.

I want to clear something up:  A belief in God is not the boundary between civilized society and an anarchy made of nothing but psychopaths. If that were the case secular societies like Sweden or Japan would be a hotbed of crime, yet they are some of the safest places in the world. The people who make the argument that only God can ensure morality neglect the fact that people innately feel compassion for each other; people who banded together and sacrificed for each other had a far better chance of survival and being able to raise children than loners. History and common sense also show that a belief in God is a poor deterrent for crime. We have constructed governments, police forces, and jails even in the most God fearing societies for a very good reason.

I also don't believe that we would have world peace if religion were eliminated. People would still be shooting each other over ethnic or resource conflicts. The act of trying to clear the world of religion itself would probably lead to endless bloodshed.

I have read newspaper articles about political atheist groups protesting 'under God' in our pledge or using a cross at a political memorial. I don't know if the media is biased or if these political groups are truly that short sighted and petty. What these political groups should be doing is legally battling the people who have come under the illusion that the 1st amendment doesn't exist. Fighting the censorship of Science would be a far better goal.The religious fundamentalists who want to impose their religion on us at the expense of someone's human rights or education are a far greater threat than a 2 word phrase. The United States was not built on the idea that one religious group represented the real Americans while other groups were second class citizens who must submit. Religion is something you should have the option of practicing in your personal life, not something the government has the right to impose on or steal from you.

I don't know if we will ever have a definitive answer to how the universe was created. How many people thought 1,000 years ago that we would reach the moon?

Though I'm an atheist now, I am considering conversion into the church of the flying spaghetti monster so that I may one day call myself a Pastafarian.

Also:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodAtheist
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 03:08:36 AM by John Smith »

Offline Griffith

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Re: Do you believe in God?
« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2011, 03:21:57 PM »
The United States was not built on the idea that one religious group represented the real Americans while other groups were second class citizens who must submit.

Actually it kind of was, but that's why change and a clever constitution are good things! :guts:

Anyway, I pretty much agree with everything else you said. I'm as suspicious of zealotry in those that hate gods as love them, matters of science and spiritually need not conflict unless extremists make it so, and religion isn't a cause of good or evil in humanity so much an instrument of it.