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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Confused, do I believe or not? - March 2nd 2013, 04:12 PM

I came to the decision last year of how I feel about God. I've been comfortable with the view that God is a personification of the greater forces of the universe for a while, and now I'm confused as to where that puts me. Is that classed as believing in God or not?





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Re: Confused, do I believe or not? - March 2nd 2013, 06:56 PM

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Originally Posted by Flora View Post
I came to the decision last year of how I feel about God. I've been comfortable with the view that God is a personification of the greater forces of the universe for a while, and now I'm confused as to where that puts me. Is that classed as believing in God or not?
You would need to explain a little further, and define what is intended by the word "god." Categorically if you define god as a being, as it seems you do saying god is a personification, then you believe in god. However, I think you need to go into more detail. What do you mean by greater forces, and how exactly would you define god? That is, the term god is rather meaningless in and of itself. Zeus is a god, Allah is a god, Yaweh is a god, Brahma is a god, and all have different characteristics. It seems you might fit a form of deism. But again, what exactly is meant by greater forces, and what, more-or-less, does the word god mean to you?

Right now I'd classify you as an agnostic deist. But that is only due to the vague nature of your post.


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Re: Confused, do I believe or not? - March 2nd 2013, 07:35 PM

In general, I'd catagorise a God as an omniscient and omnipotent being. Something that is transcendent, as in we can't see it, but immanent in that it can directly affect us on Earth.
In relation to Christianity, I feel the God talked about in the Bible is a personification of forces that we can't control. I consider that force to carry the characteristics I've mentioned above. I'm not sure I can exactly pinpoint what exactly the 'greater force' is, but I'd describe it as the force that; created the universe, is responsible for 'miracles' that otherwise have no logical explanation. I'm struggling to explain it exactly, but to me it is basically the maker of everything that is in existance, the first cause, if you like. It has the power to change the future path of events by directly affecting our environment, and us to an extent. I believe it's the force that, say, makes us go back and get something we forgot before leaving the house so we miss some catastrophic disaster that would have killed us had we not gone back. It knows what will happen in the future, and has the power to protect us from it, or thrust us into it's path.
It has super human characteristics, just like what I would consider a God to have, but it isn't a physical being. The being that it is represented by in Christianity is a personification to help people understand the force.
I hope that makes sense
   
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Re: Confused, do I believe or not? - March 3rd 2013, 01:26 AM

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Originally Posted by Flora View Post
In general, I'd catagorise a God as an omniscient and omnipotent being. Something that is transcendent, as in we can't see it, but immanent in that it can directly affect us on Earth.
In relation to Christianity, I feel the God talked about in the Bible is a personification of forces that we can't control. I consider that force to carry the characteristics I've mentioned above. I'm not sure I can exactly pinpoint what exactly the 'greater force' is, but I'd describe it as the force that; created the universe, is responsible for 'miracles' that otherwise have no logical explanation. I'm struggling to explain it exactly, but to me it is basically the maker of everything that is in existance, the first cause, if you like. It has the power to change the future path of events by directly affecting our environment, and us to an extent. I believe it's the force that, say, makes us go back and get something we forgot before leaving the house so we miss some catastrophic disaster that would have killed us had we not gone back. It knows what will happen in the future, and has the power to protect us from it, or thrust us into it's path.
It has super human characteristics, just like what I would consider a God to have, but it isn't a physical being. The being that it is represented by in Christianity is a personification to help people understand the force.
I hope that makes sense
I would say you are a deist. Bear in mind that miracles that have "no other explanation" isn't a reason to believe in god. Just because science can't explain certain things, doesn't mean it will be incapable of explaining them in the future. Using that to hold a belief in a deity is circular reasoning. I don't know if you accept evolution or not (you don't seem uneducated, so I'm assuming you accept it), if you go back 200 years people assumed god created all the variances in species that we see.

Today, whether you accept "macro-evolution" or not, we have evidence that species adapt to their environment over time, and that god didn't just pop everything into existence the way we see things. Another simple example is lightning. The Greeks used to believe a god (Zeus, maybe you've heard of him :P) caused lightning. Today, obviously, we know that isn't the case, and in fact, most of us have ruled out the existence of Zeus. Overtime this will likewise happen with the Abrahamic god (YHWH) and the Christian, Muslim, etc., beliefs will be dissolved. So, do yourself the intellectual favor of not grasping onto a belief in a deity solely on a circular argument. Anyways...

The biblical personification of god isn't a physical being, either. The bible says that god is a spirit, and as far as I know spirits have no physical evidence. This means, categorically, you are a believer in a god. Which god? I don't know. But I think it is safe to say you are at least a deist. You can work out the rest yourself. There are probably variances and degrees to deism, but I'm uncertain. I don't know much about deism. You may even have leanings towards theism as you seem to have a particular taste for Christianity, or maybe you were just using it comparatively.

Good luck on your search, I hope my opinion has helped. Here's a resource for you: http://deism.com/


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Re: Confused, do I believe or not? - March 3rd 2013, 01:02 PM

Well, I'd say at the very least you believe in a god/Creator/goddess/what ever. Now I think whether or not it is God that the Christian/Jewish Bible talks about depends on what other beliefs you believe along the side. Because so far you've identified what you think the god you believe in is like which is actually a lot more complex than what the average person believes. Because you believe God has no form (ex. he's everywhere) you can theoretically still be a Christian/Jew/Muslim because Elohim/Yahweh/God/Allah is omnipotent/transcendant/formless. They give a bit more form to God in Christianity because, like you said yourself, that's how people conceptualize him but it isn't like he actually talks to people.
If you believe in heaven, sin, salvation, repentance and Jesus I think you can still call yourself a Christian. But if you feel like you have this greater power (a theistic being of some sort) but other beliefs don't line up you could always look into other beliefs--druidism, native american beliefs (ex. google Ojibwe/Iroquois/Cree depending where you live and you can find out more), Heck, you could become a Buddhist for all I care, although Buddhism is generally considered an atheistic religion, but belief in a god-like-being is possible because of the nature of Buddhism.
You are a Christian as long as you believe you are Christian. God isn't the only condition to being a Christian, you need to look to the extent of which your beliefs align with it or with another tradition (or whether you are just spiritual but not belonging to a spefic religion)




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Re: Confused, do I believe or not? - March 3rd 2013, 03:43 PM

I myself am agnostic. I believe that we can't know if there really is a higher power.


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