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Author Topic: Do You Believe In God?  (Read 6666 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #100 on: June 23, 2014, 11:06:44 AM »
Trivia alert (for I am the StoreHouse Of Useless Trivia) - the term 'Bloody' is considered a 'minced oath' derived from 'God's Blood'.  Similarly, the word 'Zounds' was a minced form of 'God's Wounds', and 'Strewth' (for the Aussies) derived from 'God's Truth'.


The point I was trying to make is that since there are people (Not necessarily you, Virgil) who have played the 'burden of proof' card, the well, as they say, has now been poisoned.  Anyone who has strong beliefs in a deity or deities is going to be less likely to want to place their very personal beliefs and reasons for those beliefs out for public consumption and in some cases, ridicule.

I have certain beliefs that have been the source of quite a bit of ridicule over the years, and as a result, I do not share them in public settings, and in very very few private ones.

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #101 on: June 23, 2014, 11:15:26 AM »
Well, the thing about words is that they change meaning as the years trot by. The other thing is that nobody is entirely certain where certain words come from, and there are conflicting hypotheses on where curses like "bloody hell" and words like "fuck" actually came from, haha. Regardless, "bloody hell" has since lost all religious connotations. :P

And...well, whilst I can understand that, the "burden of proof" card was played in response to somebody - it seemed, at any rate - asking us to provide evidence to support our non belief, and we were pointing out that asking for such a thing was shifting the burden of proof. As for ridicule, well...I'm sorry if people feel ridiculed, but I make a habit of not insulting people over their beliefs unless those beliefs are actively harmful to somebody or a group of people, in which case, I feel that is justified to call them out on it. But simply asking "why" or asking if somebody has evidence before the claim is accepted as true is not ridiculing people. It is a fair question to ask of any claim that is made, and people are within their rights to request proof before believing something.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #102 on: June 23, 2014, 11:20:56 AM »
Well, the thing about words is that they change meaning as the years trot by. The other thing is that nobody is entirely certain where certain words come from, and there are conflicting hypotheses on where curses like "bloody hell" and words like "fuck" actually came from, haha. Regardless, "bloody hell" has since lost all religious connotations. :P

As I said, Useless Trivia.  ;D


It is a fair question to ask of any claim that is made, and people are within their rights to request proof before believing something.

And if they aren't asking you (or anyone else) to believe that?  Neither SweetSerenade nor myself have asked anyone to pick up our belief systems.  In fact, I'll go one step further:  We all have our own Path to walk.  You have your Path, I have mine.  As we walk it, we pick up many things, keep the good stuff, and discard the crap behind us.  If you choose to follow on someone else's Path, be sure to strap on some hip-waders, because it can get piled pretty deep in places.

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #103 on: June 23, 2014, 11:24:45 AM »
Exactly right. You aren't asking me to believe it....did I ask you for proof that your beliefs are true? ;) :P

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #104 on: June 23, 2014, 11:48:14 AM »
You know what? I do NOT share my belief system in public. I don't walk up to random strangers and say "Hi, I believe in x,y, and Z." I do not even discuss it with most of my friends. So if someone comes up and asks me what I believe in AND I decide to give an honest answer, the next question of "why?" or "prove it" is going to be offensive to me. I do not butt into any one else's lives, do not butt into mine. I do not care if you are a curious person, you do not need to know. Very simple.

Offline Dhi

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #105 on: June 23, 2014, 11:49:27 AM »
The thing is, there is no such thing as "Christian" attitudes.
This is easy to assume when they are your norm. When you come across people from other cultures, you're probably much more attuned to how they are different from your norm than you are aware of how you are different from them. I intentionally painted broad stokes with my examples because Christian thinking is deeply rooted. This has nothing to do with whether you pray or how you blaspheme. You're thinking far too small. Look at your larger behaviors. Look at how you view the world and your place in it. The three strong precepts of Christian thought are those I outlined above:

We hold an internal moral compass as higher authority than our fellow human being. The Buddhist precept of selflessness, of surrendering oneself and one's desires, often meets western ears as impossible or disingenuous. And the Islamic precept of total submission, predestination to Allah and to those who speak His wishes, meets western ears as suspicious and sinister. This is because Christian thinking is different.

We treat this world as our temporary home, to which we are masters. It isn't that we're selfish, but that we go through the motions of those who believe their bodies need to remain boxed and ready for Yahweh to unwrap, who believe that our place is to organize and lord over the lesser creatures. For the Buddhist perspective, I ask that you read up on a public demonstration given by monks, called the sand mandala:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_mandala
I don't like to foist explanations off to Wikipedia, so I'll summarize. Monks create an achingly beautiful, delicate work of art, in a public place. In the end, the work of art is quietly destroyed, the materials distributed back into nature, the place reclaimed. Many westerners consider this shocking.

And third, we love stories where a protagonist rises from nothing, sticks to his guns- his internal moral compass- and finds his happy ending. This is the western story which underlies so much of our entertainment. It is, intrinsically, the story of a pauper following the glory of God and becoming vindicated in the next life. We have simply stripped God out of it. Compare this to the Buddhist paths to enlightenment, where self-improvement is a lifelong pilgrimage rather than a divine flame, and the difference is clear. Compare the western ideas of mercy, where compassion to the unfortunate is an act of great good, while in Buddhism karmic responsibility lies with the unfortunate and may demonstrate a flaw of character- a monstrous idea to the western world.

I use the word we because I am not accusing you of being a product of your environment. That would be hypocritical. We all are. We are all going through the motions as though God did exist, even if we don't believe it for a moment. Because we go through these motions regardless, and because Yahweh's name never appears in my own scripture, the question of whether He exists is as irrelevant to me as if I were to ask you whether you believe in Ksitigarbha.

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #106 on: June 23, 2014, 12:23:47 PM »
@Inquisitous: Who said that I walk up to somebody in the street and ask what they believe? That is a strawman, m'dear, and one I will not bother addressing. Suffice to say this: I do not bring up the subject of religion, normally. You posted on a thread that asked if you believed, and somebody else who was in the conversation might have presumed to ask why you believe it. If you don't like being asked why, then don't share your beliefs at all....because like it or not, that will be one of the first questions if you state your beliefs. Simple.

@Dhi: I quite frankly disagree that we are all "going through the motions as if a God did exist" because we're not. You might be, but don't presume to speak for anybody else. This effectively boils down to "what point is there in life without God," which is a pointless question because the point should always be to make it a better place for the people you leave behind. Simple as. You make your own point, and I do not do that because of some cultural indoctrination. Some people do it because they want to enjoy themselves, and some do it because they want to leave something behind. You might go through the motions, but don't think to impose your motivations on anybody else.

- So? We have morals. Those are not religiously inspired. They come from the realisation that, as a social species, humanity needs to at least kind of get along for society to function properly. This is a survival trait that has been passed down through the generations through evolution, since the members of the species who did not obey the societies rules and endangered themselves and others tended to die. Quickly. On a more cognitive level, it's because people tend to realise that in order to survive, everybody needs to at least pretend to get along and follow rules that protect people from harm. THAT is where morals and social rules come from, not religion. And you using the terms "higher power" or "divine right" is you trying to sneak terminology that refers to the very thing that has yet to be demonstrated. Yes, we have moral compasses. But no, they do not come from religion. They come from a mixture of social pressures, yes, but mainly evolutionary biology.

- Again, so? How does that even correlate to us going through the motions as if there were a deity? That's pretty much "what point is there in life without a God," which I answered above. The answer is, the same point as there would be if there was a God; whatever the hell you want. You can hold whatever beliefs you want, but don't impose your personal beliefs on a wider populace. Everybody has their own goals and aims, and to say "Nope, you're doing it because society has influenced you with the idea that there's a God, so you're acting like there is even if you don't think that way" is massively insensitive and fallacious of you.

- Pah. Those stories were around before Gods. We like them because we can identify with the small, powerless individual and join them in their journey to import and power. Nothing religious about it, and I don't like you trying to co-opt everything about our society into being owed to religion. I don't argue that ideas and attitudes depend on the culture, but saying that we enjoy our stories because of religion? That's just reaching. Even if there was a correlation, correlation does not equal causation. As for Karma, yes, you're damn right I think that it's a despicable idea. Not because of any sympathy with the unfortunate or because of ANY religious teachings, but because the idea that a victim of a crime somehow deserved it is inherently disgusting, especially since there is no proof that reincarnation actually exists. A little girl gets murdered, and karma states that she deserved it...yeah, no thank you. That's a despicable idea that I want no part of.

Again, no. We're not. You might be, but I'm not, and I would ask you to stop imposing your beliefs on everybody else, because that's what you're doing. "Oh, what you did just there? You did that because you think God exists. You don't? Well, you're going through the motions as if he did anyway." No. That's not true, and that's not fair. That might be your opinion, but at least when it comes to me, your opinion is wrong. I do what I do because I want to do it and because I have personal aims and goals, not because I'm going through the motions "just in case." Thank you.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #107 on: June 23, 2014, 12:54:51 PM »
@Inquisitous: Who said that I walk up to somebody in the street and ask what they believe? That is a strawman, m'dear, and one I will not bother addressing. Suffice to say this: I do not bring up the subject of religion, normally. You posted on a thread that asked if you believed, and somebody else who was in the conversation might have presumed to ask why you believe it. If you don't like being asked why, then don't share your beliefs at all....because like it or not, that will be one of the first questions if you state your beliefs. Simple.

Actually, I never stated WHAT my beliefs were in this thread - merely that I believed in Gods and Goddesses. Might want to check up on things before you post your assumptions. Second, you are arguing in a circle here. I stepped in when you and Sabby decided to gang up on Sweet Serenade - and what I said is the same thing she said. We believe that everyone has a right to their beliefs, we believe that everyone follows their own personal path (Oniya has also stated a belief in this) and that no two people follow the exact same path - which means that the path you followed that ended in you being an atheist is not going to be the same path Sabby followed. You both have different reasons (aka proof) for your belief that no God exists. The same holds true for those of us who have a religious belief - no one is going to have the same experiences as me, and thus their reasons (aka proof) is not going to be the same as mine. And that is ignoring the fact that what is proof (reasons) to us will, most assuredly, not be proof (reasons) for someone else.

Thus, the argument that you have a RIGHT to know what our proof (reasons) are is nothing more than an opportunity to line up an attack on our beliefs. You already know that everyone has different reasons (proof) based upon their life experiences so you know that none of us are going to have overwhelming proof (reasons). I do not buy this whole "I am curious" explanation. I believe you want to know so you can then turn it into a "you're wrong, you shouldn't believe, there is no proof what you believe is real, you're an idiot for believing in an invisible friend in the sky" attack.

Again, if I do not talk about my beliefs (please note, I still have went beyond the fact that I believe in multiple Gods and Goddesses) then you do not have the right to come up and ask me what I believe in. I do not witness to people, I do not seek to convert (my particular belief system does not believe in converting). I do not seek to tell other people what to believe nor do I really give two flying shits what anyone else believes. It's real damn simple in my opinion. You believe what you want and stay quiet about it, I believe what I want and I stay quiet about it.

Lookie there - no arguments about religion then. Isn't that better than bickering back and forth over something that is personal?

Offline Dhi

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #108 on: June 23, 2014, 01:02:41 PM »
It's not a "just in case" scenario. I'm not accusing you of secretly believing in God or covering your bases. I don't continue to treat inanimate objects with delicacy because I secretly suspect there might be spirits in them, and so, it would be hypocritical to assume that of anyone else. I go through my motions because I learned this behavior as a child, it is normal for the environment I was raised, it brings me peace of mind, there is no compelling reason for me to unlearn the behavior. People who come from Christian cultures have their own idiosyncrasies which are transposed from Christianity but no longer depend on belief in God. I am not willing to concede otherwise. If you believe that your ethics are inherent to human beings and correct in light of my examples of how thinking differs in Buddhism, that is your prerogative and we will have to disagree.

I'd like to clarify one thing about karma. Please don't take this as semantics to pick apart your opinion, which you're entitled to. But you are misunderstanding karma, and it would be remiss of me to lead you to believe Buddhists blame rape victims for being raped.

Murder is not an act of karma. Karma is not viewed as a cosmic force which blesses or punishes us. Karma is a measure of our actions toward enlightenment. Karma serves to explain the inequality that exists in human beings, and in doing so, it implies strength of character to those who do well, and weakness of character to those who sink. In the past, some interpretations of karma would suggest, these people lived very good or perhaps bad lives, and that karma has affected their station now. It isn't necessarily as mystical an idea as it sounds, and many Buddhists have a concept of karma without believing in reincarnation beyond the idea that we are all made of reconstituted atoms and the lasting mark of those before us.

But no, crime is not karmic punishment. There is no entity to inflict karmic punishment.

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #109 on: June 23, 2014, 01:10:38 PM »
@Opheliac:

Never said you did. I said IF. Might want to check your assumptions before you post.

"Gang up?" Ok. If that's what you want to call it, whatever. Also, reasons does not equal proof. A reason is why you believe something. Proof is evidence, or something that is producable or testable that supports your idea or claim. A reason is not the same as proof, so I would kindly ask you to stop making that equivocation. See, your big problem is that you're using two words that are not synonyms. When I ask why somebody believes as they do, I am not necessarily asking for proof; I am asking why they believe as they do, and if they make a claim like "I believe because I had a personal experience with Jesus," only then may I - and only MAY, if it's appropriate - ask for proof that it actually happened. Reason does NOT equal proof, so that part of your argument is largely....well, irrelevant. Somebody is well within their rights to ask your REASONS for believing as you do if you brought the subject up, and they are justified in asking for EVIDENCE if you are attempting to convince them that your reasons are valid. Once more - and I cannot stress this enough - Proof DOES NOT equal evidence.

Ok. You believe what you want and stay quiet about it. I don't give a damn. I only ask people why they believe something if they bring what they believe up, or if they use what they believe as justification for something in an argument or debate that we are having. I've never once asked you what your beliefs are, and I would not come up to you in the middle of the street and start that conversation, so I don't see where this particular thread is coming from. Kindly avoid putting words in my mouth, please.


@Dhi:

Indeed we will...I am not debating that some behaviours are remnants of a religious presence, but I do have to disagree that things like our morals are remnants. It is actually demonstrable that secular morality is superior to the morality found in many religious texts. Also, the reason you give for treating inanimate objects carefully is....kinda flawed. You never treat inanimate objects carefully because you think there are spirits inside of them, you do it because mistreating the objects will either break or otherwise damage them, and damage is by its definition bad. I have never been careful with a book because I thought there was a spirit inside it; I treated it with respect because a good-condition book is far preferable to one that is missing half its pages, and the other half's ink has run. An extreme example, but I thought I would point out that most of our behaviour has a practical purpose rather than it just being a habit.

Well, if I have misunderstood the karma that you believe in (since there are inevitably going to be different interpretations of karma depending on who you ask), I apologise. It's somewhat difficult keeping the various different interpretations and types of spiritual beliefs straight, especially without previous clarification of which specific strain of belief is being discussed. Believe it or not, I have met people who believed in that "punishing" type of karma.

Offline Dhi

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #110 on: June 23, 2014, 01:41:16 PM »
Empathizing with inanimate objects as though they were alive and capable of feeling shame or satisfaction is not a common western belief, but it is an echo of Thai Theravada deference to spirits and ancestors. It would be oversimplifying to compare it to just treating my possessions with care. I'm sure you've noticed that sometimes people from Asian cultures are ritualistically careful with objects, and this is not because we're all incurably anal retentive and miserly. It's a remnant of this system of belief, which is perhaps best illustrated in the absurdity of rock gardening, the Japanese tea ceremony, and modern arts such as feng shui, origami, and ritual flower arrangement- all of which have been stripped of their mystical origins.

We are not so alike. It isn't that I'm merely meticulous.

Believe it or not, I have met people who believed in that "punishing" type of karma.
No, I believe you. Karma is commonly misunderstood in the western world, because the way we utilize it in our vernacular is incorrect. I assume that these people are westerners. I'm not aware of any system of belief that teaches that the misdeeds of others are due to your own bad karma. It would re-imagine quite a few Buddhist parables (and, I would imagine, Hindu ones too) if that were true. Instead, it's a common theme for the enlightened to suffer hardship inflicted by others, but to find peace as a demonstration of their own enlightenment.

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #111 on: June 23, 2014, 01:49:43 PM »
Aaaah, I getcha. Yes, I've noticed that and do agree that it is to do with their religion. I think my major point is that in more secular countries, religion doesn't inform as many of our actions as in more heavily religious ones. Of course, I can only speak for England, since that's where I grew up. Anywhere else, I'm inherently working off of second hand knowledge. Of course, some places isn't so much religion as it is tradition...the two often intertwine, but they aren't necessarily the same thing.

Oh, the world is full of misunderstandings. Entire wars and religious schisms have been a result of many of them, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of the nuances of the idea had been "lost in translation," as it were. Since I imagine many of the readers of this thread are getting bored of our huge posts back and forth, may I ask for a PM giving a overview of karma? As noted above, I am an extremely curious individual, and I haven't been exposed to very many Buddhists or Hindu's, much to my regret. If you don't feel like it, I won't take offence....just thought I'd ask :D

Offline Dhi

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #112 on: June 23, 2014, 03:12:15 PM »
I'm not an expert on karma and would probably look to the words of Hindu or Buddhist scholars to best explain it. At its least mystical, karma is the effect of our actions on the world around us. Understanding the implications of our actions and acting with intent to improve the world brings good karma, while bad karma comes from ignorance or acting with negative intentions. Bad karma poisons the world around us. At its more mystical, karma determines our station in life when reborn, so acting with enlightenment in a previous life gives us greater insight and brings us closer to oneness in the next, while acting hastily or maliciously can explain why some people are born into unfair, unjust situations which seem to be no fault of their own. And this is where the ugly idea that the disadvantaged might be karmically low comes from, and why in old Korean cartoons you might see things such as otherwise good children tormenting street beggars.

To keep things on topic, do I believe in karma? The answer is no.

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #113 on: June 23, 2014, 03:32:12 PM »
See, it's that last part that I disagree with; that not only is there some cosmic justice (there is no evidence of that), and the idea that people deserve what they get is fundamentally flawed in my opinion. But that, I suppose is debate for people more versed in the ins and outs of karma than me. Or, I suppose, a debate for me when I've read more closely about it, haha.

But I agree, to keep things from digressing too far, I don't believe in Karma either. :P

Offline Dice

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #114 on: June 23, 2014, 04:00:53 PM »
Cogito ergo sum is not about proving or disproving God, it is about proving that, in the face of removing all external stimuli, we exist as beings of self awareness. Yes, there is elements of God in Descartes writing, but that is true for all the writers of the age.

Personally, I like to examine the reasons for things and the decide on them. Is there any Proof God exists? No. Is there any proof he does not? No. Ok so let's examine this rationally?

What is the reason for a "Creator" origin story?
In my view it is because humans need to have an answer for everything. We seek to know, what we don't know we tend to fear. So it is easier to come up with a God concept and claim that as the origin of life than it is to accept we just don't know something.

What is the point of religion?
I think religion exists for three reasons.

One is to comfort. We do not know what happens past death, we can not control it either. As creatures constantly trying to control the small part of the world we live in, to have someone so final, so unknowable be outside our control is scary. For that reason having something to believe, to hope for is better than just admitting we have no idea and living in fear.

Two is to stifle fear. This is really strongly tied to the comfort factor, but it's powerful enough a drive I believe it is worth noting as it's own point.

Last is control. Be it for good or for bad, religion is a tool made to control others. To bind communities, to bind lovers, to exile the unwanted and to amass wealth. While it is not pretty to look at it this way, it has its up sides. Stronger communities bound in joint faith tend to work better together and help one another. The banishment of the unwanted can be bound to the idea of morals. That a religious person has a set of morals he or she shan't sway from and the people whom are more willing to lie, cheat, steal and kill are not good for a healthy community. Thus they should be cast out. Binding lovers helps as you need to trace your lineage back when you live in a community so that way you do not end up in bed with your half sister. In all these are good points.

The issue is human greed takes over when power is involved. Amassing of wealth is not a bad thing. Church's of old tended to be meeting halls, maybe the only stone building in a town and offered good shelter in harsh weather. Gold given to those whom have taken oaths of poverty means that in times of need, someone in the town should have gold to buy grain. These are also good points. But again, human weakness kills the idea when you get places like the Vatican hoarding large amounts of wealth while some of the poorest in the world donate.

So to me, Religion is an outdated model of something that was once a necessary evil while the idea of a creator is again a necessary evil for those that need to explain the unknown. So, is there a god? No idea, but I do not fear death so I do not need someone to hold my hand and comfort me though life. What I can not change I accept. I can not prove he does not exist any more than another can prove he does, all I can say is that I am happy to wake up late on a Sunday and spend that time with my wife.

Offline Dhi

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #115 on: June 23, 2014, 04:36:44 PM »
I remember learning about the dawn of civilization religions of the Tigris-Euphrates in college, and being sold the idea that the farmers of the time, however skilled in agriculture, responded to environmental change by throwing up their hands and sacrificing a goat to invisible demons. And this somehow led to stable growth and development.

It seems more likely that the farmers of antiquity were just devastatingly coy.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #116 on: June 24, 2014, 04:02:48 AM »

I would consider myself agnostic.

Belief and knowledge are two very different things. Because I or you believe in something (or reject a notion), does not make it true or false, so to say "I believe in X" only tells me that you have accepted X as fact. It's not a very useful statement otherwise.

To believe is not the same as to know, and some would argue that our knowledge can only be subjective - that one cannot have truly objective knowledge.. but that's for another discussion.

So long as you are pleased and content with your beliefs, happy are you. :)

If you were on a path of knowledge, you would find that to believe without knowing is futile. I can tell you "I believe in the flying spaghetti monster*", but that statement does nothing to increase your knowledge. Telling you that I can predict the positions and shapes of the moon, and showing you my technique so that you can test and verify it for yourself would increase your knowledge and quite possibly provide you with useful information. In this latter example, belief flows from knowledge, not from blind trust or from being gullible.

Do I believe that there is a god?

You would have to define what "god" is for me to answer that. There are lots of wacky definitions out there to choose from.... My short answer is, I have no reason to believe that there is a god, but given the enormity of the universe and time, I would have no way of telling if such a thing exists or existed at one time. ( Likewise, I cannot prove or disprove the existence of obscure_object_x, y or z ...  so they all go in my junk drawer along with the obscure, pooly defined god thingy )

Do I think its likely that some group of humans possess knowledge of such a being or creator?

No. I think its far more likely that the world's stories about religions, prehistory, and magical, blessed creatures are fiction, or myths that satisfy some sort of human desire to be a part of some fantastic setting or to have a greater than normal purpose in life. People lie, make honest mistakes, and fail to record and communicate their ideas with one another. Some deliberately bend the truth in order to reap some benefit, some simply misunderstand or underestimate the facts.

Pro tip - "If it smells like bullshit, it probably is."



*Flying Spaghetti Monster - see Russell's Tea Pot.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #117 on: June 24, 2014, 04:29:19 AM »
Just one quick question, is it possible to make the following statement and have it be true?
"I do not exist"

I see the logic in this argument, but I don't think that using semantics to prove existence is kosher. ( Maybe it is...? but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth )

Yes, we have to exist and think in some capacity, otherwise we would not be having this discussion. ( Rocks exists, but probably do not discuss or ponder such things. Their existence is not dependent upon thought. You could probably stop someone from thinking via medical intervention, but that does not affect their existence. )

Whether our existence is physical ( as it appears to be ), or non-physical ( as in a dream ) is a horse of a different color.


How about if a really hot chick with a really short plaid skirt that barely covered her ass stood in a pair of eight inch heels,  took a hammer and chisel, and carved the phrase  "I do not exist" into the rim of a volcano? Let's say that after working up a beaded sweat, she threw herself into the lava and died? (Yes, you get to see the crack of her ass and thong on the way down as she kicks and screams.) The statement would be true, but she would no longer be alive. I suppose you could argue that the trace elements of her former body (ash, steam, charred pantyhose)  left behind still exist.  If existence is eternal ( ie. matter cannot be destroyed ), then I suppose this would not work. If your "existence" refers more to your functioning as a harmonious, living organism and co-organisms, then perhaps its possible. )  :)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 04:54:02 AM by TaintedAndDelish »

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Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #118 on: June 24, 2014, 03:23:33 PM »
I'm an atheist.  I was raised as a Baptist and did the whole baptism and profession of faith thing, along with the usual vacation bible school stuff and being active with any kids programs the church had going on.  As I got older, the bible started making less sense to me (Noah's ark I think was the first thing that made me have doubts), so by the time I graduated high school I was more in the deist camp.  I still thought there was a god, but one that perhaps had created the universe and then stood back to watch things unwind without getting involved again.

Then I went off to college and started taking some heavy science classes.  Biology and physics mostly made me question the idea of a deity even more, and by my sophomore year, I had tried reading the bible cover to cover to maybe rekindle my faith, and it ended up being the straw on the camel's back.  Reading the bits that get left out of sermons that are decidely not in line with the whole "god is love" thing snuffed out any lingering flame of belief I had.  Well, that and coupled with evidence contrary to the bible that is.

That all being said, I have no personal problems with people believing in one, dozens or a bajillion gods in their private lives.  I do take issue though with someone trying to push their belief onto me through the state, or when their beliefs put others at risk.

Online vin26m

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #119 on: June 29, 2014, 12:48:27 PM »
and by my sophomore year, I had tried reading the bible cover to cover to maybe rekindle my faith, and it ended up being the straw on the camel's back.

Atheist here.  Reminds me of a quote from half of Penn & Teller:

"If you're considering becoming an atheist, read the Bible from cover to cover.  No study guides, no spins, just read it. Sometime between when God tells Abraham to kill his son and when Jesus tells everyone to put him before their families, you'll be an atheist."  - Penn Jillette

Offline mj2002

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #120 on: July 05, 2014, 12:41:27 AM »

Moving on: What I mean when I say I "know" God exists, is that I have absolute unshakable faith that he does exist. I cannot prove it to your satisfaction. I cannot prove it to my own satisfaction, but this is one area where I don't NEED proof. I have faith, and faith is enough. Faith means believing, KNOWING, with absolute certainty at the very depth of your being that something is true that CANNOT be proven.

In the physical bounds of this world (or this universe), science suffices for me. Evolution is a scientific fact. Climate change is happening. Climate change is caused by humans. All this is scientific fact. Everything that happens has a perfectly logical scientific explanation, even if we don't know what that explanation is yet.

But matters of spirtuality and faith lie outside the realm of the physical universe. God's existence can neither be proven nor disproven. Not by science, not by clever philosophy, not by anything.

With this line of thought in mind, how are the matters of spirituality and faith different from fantasy? What's keeping anyone from making up something, then claim they know it is true, even though it is supposedly not possible to prove that? I could say that I know that God is not real, and that I do not need proof for this, because I have faith?

No matter how much you do away with science or clever philosophy, our two positions cannot be true at the same time. How would you be able to tell who is right and who isn't?

Offline LostInTheMistTopic starter

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #121 on: July 05, 2014, 01:59:57 AM »
With this line of thought in mind, how are the matters of spirituality and faith different from fantasy? What's keeping anyone from making up something, then claim they know it is true, even though it is supposedly not possible to prove that? I could say that I know that God is not real, and that I do not need proof for this, because I have faith?

No matter how much you do away with science or clever philosophy, our two positions cannot be true at the same time. How would you be able to tell who is right and who isn't?

I wouldn't. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps God does not exist. I can't prove that he exists any more than you can prove that he does not. My belief is independent from your lack of belief. All of it is outside the realm of science.

Offline mj2002

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #122 on: July 05, 2014, 02:19:41 AM »
I wouldn't. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps God does not exist. I can't prove that he exists any more than you can prove that he does not. My belief is independent from your lack of belief. All of it is outside the realm of science.
Our beliefs are independent, sure. The truth isn't subjective though.

Offline LostInTheMistTopic starter

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #123 on: July 05, 2014, 02:34:39 AM »
Our beliefs are independent, sure. The truth isn't subjective though.

Isn't it though? I mean, what I accept as truth may be quite different from what you accept as truth, and at least one of us must be wrong. But neither of us can be proven to be wrong until we die. And once we die, we can't report on who is right and who is wrong.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #124 on: July 05, 2014, 03:00:13 AM »
I never fully understand why people place science as oppsed to religion and/or God.  There seems to be this desire for the two to be at war when there is no reason for them to be at odds at all.