You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 05, 2016, 09:15:50 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Do You Believe In God?  (Read 6675 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2014, 08:03:35 AM »
So...may I ask why you believe in God? What convinced you that God exists (I'm assuming you're talking about the Christian God here?) and asked you for that act of faith in the first place? If you don't wanna answer, that's fine. I'm just curious as to what convinced you. :-)
Because God is perpetual Hope I guess. Because God isn't just some old guy with a beard. He's a process, an ideal. When the Bible says that we were made in His image it didn't mean two arms, two legs, and a head. We have the same soul the same ability to do better and make the world better and when we're doing good for the world and other we're stepping closer to that perpetual hope that God represents. Sure we stumble, but He also represents forgiveness and tolerance and all that's good in the world. So if believing in him makes me a better person, if I can use this idea of benevolent entity and creator to help me through the darker times then why not?

Now, I'm not a ritual person. I don't think it's so simple as getting water splashed on you or saying ten hail Marys. I do believe that the acts themselves can represent something greater, but no amount of holy water washes a man clean without a conviction he feels in his hear or soul or brain, whatever you wish to use. In fact I  have a hard time tolerating dogma and the churches of Christianity in general. They're too worried about proving God and proving they're version of God is the best, when it's not about proving... it's about believing, and there is no version of God that's the best... God simply is the best, and you belittle his message and meaning by trying to come up with something more perfect.

It's not something that's easy to articulate, and I'm not trying convert you or anyone. That's not something I can do. I just hope I haven't bored you to tears. :)

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2014, 08:12:52 AM »
Hmm....interesting. I personally don't think we need to believe in a higher power to make us better people, but that's just me. I'm not entirely certain why you believe the bible, given the various issues with its historiography and the small issue of the OT, but meh. I agree that the Christian Church by and large is not exactly the nicest thing on the planet, but looking at its book...well, it isn't the worst religion, but it's not the best either. I have to disagree with the Christian God representing forgiveness and tolerance given what's actually in the bible, but if you believe in a benevolent creator...eh, no skin off my nose, haha. I can think of a few reasons why you might not want to use the idea of God for the darker times, but again, to each their own and I'm not here to argue about it (on a thread that was originally meant as a "do you believe or not," at any rate. If you want to debate theology - and I'm always happy to do so; civil debate is always a good, healthy pursuit, and I find the subject interesting - then drop me a PM and we can do it in private). Just wondering why you believe it.

Though I do feel the need to ask....why do you believe the bible, as opposed to any other religious or "holy" texts? Is it something as simple as 'it's the text I was brought up with,' or is it something more profound/rationalised? After all, any belief you have has to be rationalised at least a little for you to be able to accept it as true :P

And to be completely, 100% fair on the Catholic church, I support their attempts to prove God exists. After all, if they want everybody else to believe as they do, the burden of proof is on them. Let them try to prove their God...it's what they should be doing in the first place, if they want us to believe that there's any merit to their claims, especially since more and more people are saying "sorry, but 'you just have to have faith' isn't good enough for me." Haha.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 08:14:33 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #52 on: June 18, 2014, 08:48:52 AM »
The Bible is a tricky subject. I'm not a literalist. However, I believe in it as holy text because God gave it to his followers to write down. That doesn't mean it's totally without bias or that it's all totally religious. It doesn't mean I don't add in my own biases as a reader. I mean if every Christian believed in the Bible wholesale they'd live a Kosher lifestyle. I eat pork and shelfish, but I also don't live in a desert without refrigeration and unglazed pottery. Still it has a lot of good moral advice. Don't lie, kill, or steal. I've also read the Koran  (though that runs into the issue that any translated version of the Koran is no longer the Koran)  and most of the Torah. In fact I've read most of the holy books of most of the world's major religions. I think the God of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. 

But you don't read a book on American law if you're going to live in Britain. Part of believing in the Christian God is you have to believe that the Bible is the holy book. It ties into the whole thing of faith. Plus, I'd rather read it for myself than have someone tell me what to believe. :\

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #53 on: June 18, 2014, 08:56:41 AM »
Weeeell, there is the small matter of the Old Testament and the quite frankly horrible things that go on there, and the NT has its fair share of nasty stuff in it as well, as well as the false impression of black and white morality that it gives (morality is more complicated than "this is always right and this is always wrong") which makes me reject the morality of the bible out of hand in favour of my own more complicated and "tried-and-tested" morality, but that's a debate for another day, so I'll stop there, haha.

My question is....why do you believe the bible was passed down by God? Obviously the bible says that it was passed down by God, but you can't justify something with itself. "It's true because it says it's true." Um...well, what else would it say? That it was a work of complete fiction and shouldn't be taken seriously? Of course not :P So...why do you believe the bible is holy and passed down by God? And even if the bible was originally passed down by God, the original was in Hebrew, I think. It's been translated so many times and into so many different versions, and edited and censored by various councils so often, how do you know what you're reading is anything like the original? Part of believing in the Christian God is indeed that you have to believe the bible is holy, but why do you believe the bible is holy? Why have faith in the bible specifically? What reason do you have to accept the word of the bible over other religious texts?

That's really the sticking point for me, particularly when people use the bible as a justification. Why on Earth should I believe the bible over people like Tacitus, Cassius Dio, Livy and Pliny, none of whom make any mention of the "miracles" recorded in the bible (and the first two of whom are reputed for their thoroughness and generally viewed as very reliable)? What historiographical reason do you have to believe a word that the bible says? And I know that this could sound accusatory or aggressive, and that's not how I mean it. It's an honest curious question :-) If you don't want to answer, that's fine. Just curious :D
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 08:58:30 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #54 on: June 18, 2014, 09:10:55 AM »
I'm not going to give you an answer you'll find satisfactory.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2014, 09:16:18 AM »
Oh, I'm not looking for an answer that's satisfactory for me, I was just curious as to what convinced you. But no worries, if you don't want to answer, you don't want to answer. :-) It was nice talking to you :D

Offline Sarabi

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #56 on: June 18, 2014, 09:27:07 AM »
I consider myself an atheist, but I personally believe that some form of intelligence caused the universe to come into being. I suppose whatever intelligence that is could be considered a God. Of course, if this is true it creates a new problem of how this intelligence came into being into the first place. (I've heard people say "God never came into existence because God is eternal" or something similar but I've never accepted that response.) I believe this intelligence simply caused the Big Bang, and that it doesn't interfere in reality in any way. I know I have no evidence of any of these beliefs but nevertheless it's what I believe.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #57 on: June 18, 2014, 09:31:54 AM »
So would you consider yourself a deist? What you believe is pretty damn close to what most Deists seem to believe. I used to think the same way, up until a few years ago when I decided that this new "intelligence" would raise more questions than it would answer....and when I learnt what scientists actually mean by "nothing." I don't know what happened before the big bang, though I think we'll figure it out eventually (eventually being in, like, hundreds - maybe even thousands - of years, haha. I won't be around to see it, but humanity will figure things out eventually, if we don't all go extinct before then :P ). :-)

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #58 on: June 18, 2014, 09:53:38 AM »
Oh, I'm not looking for an answer that's satisfactory for me, I was just curious as to what convinced you. But no worries, if you don't want to answer, you don't want to answer. :-) It was nice talking to you :D
Everyone's looking for satisfactory answers. That's why we ask questions. The answer is kind of simple for me, but I can tell it's one you're not going to really believe. If you believe in God, you have to believe that the Bibles is the word of God on earth. Just as if you were to believe in Islam you'd believe the Koran was the word of Allah on earth. Like anything of this earth the Bible is not flawless. If we could prove that God etched it into the very earth or all Bibles were fresh from God's printing press it would kind of make moot the point of belief.

You wouldn't read the definitive biography on Abraham Lincoln if you wanted to learn about the life of Franklin Roosevelt. I struggle with the Bible because it's not without flaw. It's bound by the limitations of language, but you believe in some level that it's the basis of the religion put into text.

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #59 on: June 18, 2014, 10:35:09 AM »
Interestingly enough, if you boil down most of the major religious texts (those being the ones that I've read), most of them come down to 'If you are nice to others and try to live a good life here, then you will be rewarded in the next one.'  The rest is the modern religion's equivalent of mythology.

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #60 on: June 18, 2014, 10:40:24 AM »
Interestingly enough, if you boil down most of the major religious texts (those being the ones that I've read), most of them come down to 'If you are nice to others and try to live a good life here, then you will be rewarded in the next one.'  The rest is the modern religion's equivalent of mythology.
Pretty much. Not to say those stories don't have moral or ethical merit.

(Sometimes though they're a really good read) :D

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #61 on: June 18, 2014, 11:28:09 AM »
Pretty much. Not to say those stories don't have moral or ethical merit.

(Sometimes though they're a really good read) :D

Moral and ethical merit is one of the (many) purposes of mythology.  We don't know if there was actually a person by the name of Odysseus in ancient Greece, but the story of his trip back from Troy shows many behaviors that the listeners could strive to emulate or avoid in the hopes of being 'like him'.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #62 on: June 18, 2014, 11:31:58 AM »
True, but for me, I have to have a reason to believe the religious text in the first place. Of course, it's slightly different in that you go in believing in God, whereas I read the bible/koran/whatever thinking "Ok, so does this make sense? Is there a point in believing this?" And I find the historiography for those texts lacking in a huge way. And honestly, no it wouldn't make the point moot. If there was a God and he wanted us all to believe in him, how hard would it be to just say "BOOM, I'm here!" and provide us the evidence we need? Surely, if God is omniscient, he knows exactly what level of proof I would need to convince me that he was in fact a God, and would be able to do it...and if, as many Christians seem to believe, God will punish me for not believing in him on little to no evidence, then I will go to hell knowing that I am morally superior to that God (not YOUR God, the God of my hypothetical). And if he's a good God, deserving of love and devotion, s/he'll understand why I didn't believe, and won't care so long as I tried to be a nice person. Honestly, belief - in my opinion, anyway - should be withheld until sufficient evidence has been provided. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and all that. If God was real and wanted us to believe, he would be more than capable of doing it...why would he need Faith?

As for the moral and ethical value of the stories, that's kind of debatable. Some of the stories are ok, some are pretty good, but a lot of them are utterly reprehensible and disgusting. Ok, the other religions were just as bad, but that isn't the point :P My point is that there are better sources of morality than the bible...whilst some of the stories are good, others are quite frankly horrific.

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #63 on: June 18, 2014, 11:41:35 AM »
As for the moral and ethical value of the stories, that's kind of debatable. Some of the stories are ok, some are pretty good, but a lot of them are utterly reprehensible and disgusting. Ok, the other religions were just as bad, but that isn't the point :P My point is that there are better sources of morality than the bible...whilst some of the stories are good, others are quite frankly horrific.

There are some pretty bad stories in most mythologies - sticking with my Greek theme (since I know a lot of those), there's the constant philandering that goes on, people getting killed for the most trivial of reasons - Achilles was pretty much a right bastard through much of the Iliad, in my opinion, and yet people talk about the 'great hero Achilles' and the arrow to the heel.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2014, 11:52:47 AM »
Oh, I agree. Most mythologies are pretty morally bankrupt, which is why I dismiss the Christian one out of hand, since I am more moral by my own reckoning than most of the characters in the bible. Hell, Old Testament God was pretty much the most immoral character in all of fiction (since I hold the bible as fiction, so sue me). Dawkins said it best, IMHO. ;-)
But yes. Most mythologies are pretty horrible in places. From what I know of the Norse mythology, that one was actually pretty good, but I don't know as much about it as Greek, so I may be mistaken. In any case...Achilles was a "hero" because he went off and fought for something (regardless of what it was), not because he was a nice guy. Good Is Not Nice indeed. You could also argue that Achilles was an intentional deconstruction of the stereotypical Hero qualities...kind of like a parody. But that's getting ahead of myself, haha.

Offline Mathim

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #65 on: June 18, 2014, 03:00:17 PM »
Oh, I agree. Most mythologies are pretty morally bankrupt, which is why I dismiss the Christian one out of hand, since I am more moral by my own reckoning than most of the characters in the bible. Hell, Old Testament God was pretty much the most immoral character in all of fiction (since I hold the bible as fiction, so sue me). Dawkins said it best, IMHO. ;-)
But yes. Most mythologies are pretty horrible in places. From what I know of the Norse mythology, that one was actually pretty good, but I don't know as much about it as Greek, so I may be mistaken. In any case...Achilles was a "hero" because he went off and fought for something (regardless of what it was), not because he was a nice guy. Good Is Not Nice indeed. You could also argue that Achilles was an intentional deconstruction of the stereotypical Hero qualities...kind of like a parody. But that's getting ahead of myself, haha.

The last several posts of yours illustrated the point I was trying to make; there is no satisfactory answer for why faith still exists in the age of reason because, as was pointed out, it's not based on any logical or empirical reasoning. The fact that we find so much contradiction and raw horror in these mythologies should just further beg the question why faith is still so prevalent. It's quite maddening for an atheist to wake up and realize this is the average population they're forced to live amongst. It's like being Wonko the Sane but without having the resources to establish our own 'asylum'.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2014, 03:21:45 PM »
I think that's being a tad harsh to most people. Yeah, there are some people whose morals and general empathy has been damaged by the presence of faith and religion, but in my experience most religious people are far, far more moral than their holy book, they just don't realise it because they've been indoctrinated by a society or family that holds these beliefs. The latter half of your post kinda seems like you look down on religious people....which is the wrong attitude to take, in my opinion. I don't dislike religious people, I dislike religion. There's a difference, and I'm not entirely sure the attitude you seem to take in that post is productive at all. It just serves to propagate the "arrogant asshole Atheist" stereotype, and that is counter-productive in the extreme. In reality, most religious people are just people who have the same moral standards and intellectual capacity and potential as anybody else, they just either haven't gotten around to doing proper research, or have been in an insulated community where there isn't much disagreement on the matter of religion. I get where you're coming from, but the attitude in that post....it's not going to help, and it's condescending in the extreme, which I'm not certain I agree with or even like particularly much. And yes, I'm defending religious people. Just because you disagree with them and just because they exercise Faith as a reason (which I acknowledge and even outright state is a poor excuse indeed) does not give you licence to refer to them as "those people," which whilst not outright stated in your post, is certainly how it comes across.

If that's not what you meant by your comments, then I apologise; that's just how it appeared to me, and I have a but of a bugbear about reinforcing negative stereotypes about Atheists. So again; if that's not what you were saying, I'm sorry. The latter half of your post just came across to me as a bit....superior and self-righteous, I suppose the words would be. NOT saying that that's how you meant it, just saying that's how it looked to me, and I felt like I had to address that possibility. No offence intended :-)

Offline GypsyRose

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2014, 04:13:09 PM »
Quote
In reality, most religious people are just people who have the same moral standards and intellectual capacity and potential as anybody else, they just either haven't gotten around to doing proper research, or have been in an insulated community where there isn't much disagreement on the matter of religion.

I'm not sure, Vergil, that your clarification helps much, Virgil Tanner.  It seems to me that I could read your post as saying that we're (religious people) just brainwashed and choosing to be stupid through not using our intellectual capacity to see just how wrong we are. ;)

I appreciate the attempt to clarify, though.  Sometimes I think people rush to outrage over what boils down to semantics.   At the end of the day, it's okay to say 'I don't agree' and step away without letting negative emotions linger.    :-)

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2014, 04:19:41 PM »
That's certainly not what I meant, haha. It was more of a "religious people are just as smart as atheists, they just have different opinions and are in a society that doesn't challenge their beliefs that much...." which is true. There's that recently popularised saying of "don't debate religion with an atheist, since he's probably better at it than you." I don't necessarily agree, but since atheists have to defend their lack of beliefs more frequently, they tend to be better practiced at it, whereas if you grew up in a - for example - Catholic family in a Southern American town, you're unlikely to have been exposed to many differing opinions, especially since atheists are still very much in the minority. That's all I meant, haha. I certainly didn't mean to imply that you're all brainwashed (though there is a certain amount of cultural indoctrination inherently involved in religious upbringings, and I don't think it's insensitive to say that it certainly plays a role), haha.

Offline mia h

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #69 on: June 18, 2014, 04:25:08 PM »
The last several posts of yours illustrated the point I was trying to make; there is no satisfactory answer for why faith still exists in the age of reason because, as was pointed out, it's not based on any logical or empirical reasoning.
....
It's like being Wonko the Sane but without having the resources to establish our own 'asylum'.
I can't remember seeing such a well reasoned and logical argument in a long time. "My opinion is X and anyone who disagrees with me is insane" feels like it was lifted straight from the pages of Dale Carnegie book.  ::)

Offline Sabby

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2014, 04:59:14 PM »
I have a question that I feel is relevant to the current discussion.

Why is Religious Faith a good thing? I don't mean as another word for trust (for instance, faith in your spouse), I mean the absolute blind faith in spite of evidence and reason required to believe in a Deity.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2014, 05:01:15 PM »
Honestly, I don't think it is...but I am curious to hear the answer from some of our Theist posters. :D

Offline Sabby

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2014, 05:08:19 PM »
I don't either, but my stance is well known and I'm more interested in hearing a case for it.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2014, 05:09:51 PM »
As am I :D

Offline mia h

Re: Do You Believe In God?
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2014, 05:16:22 PM »
Just a thought, but maybe you'd get a better response if the question wasn't so loaded. Why are you assuming that all faith is blind? And in spite of what evidence?