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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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How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 08:16 AM

I wonder this a lot. And it blows me away really.

How can people not believe in God? Like, seriously? I mean, can you not see Him and all His creation everywhere?

Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"

I mean, to me, my God - THE God - is everythin. I know that I couldn't live without Him and I want to know why other people think they can. (Before anyone thinks it I have not grown up in a church, nor have I been brainwashed by parents or other family members. This was entirely my decision - and now my life)

I understand people could ask me the same question . . . but I see evidence of God everywhere. Even the fact that we exist is evidence of God. I mean, is it really that likely that some explosion happened that created life on Earth? Come on, be honest . . .

Yeah, I know He allows bad things to happen, like famines and floods and things like that, which I understand could put some people off. But He doesn't cause them.

Basically though, I'm just curious, not trying to push my beliefs on people
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 10:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I wonder this a lot. And it blows me away really.

How can people not believe in God? Like, seriously? I mean, can you not see Him and all His creation everywhere?

Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"

I mean, to me, my God - THE God - is everythin. I know that I couldn't live without Him and I want to know why other people think they can. (Before anyone thinks it I have not grown up in a church, nor have I been brainwashed by parents or other family members. This was entirely my decision - and now my life)

I understand people could ask me the same question . . . but I see evidence of God everywhere. Even the fact that we exist is evidence of God. I mean, is it really that likely that some explosion happened that created life on Earth? Come on, be honest . . .

Yeah, I know He allows bad things to happen, like famines and floods and things like that, which I understand could put some people off. But He doesn't cause them.

Basically though, I'm just curious, not trying to push my beliefs on people
It's very simple. I chose not to. I believe in God, but i dont believe in church or any other religion. I believe in MY God, and my version of him.
I believe in the Big Bang and in evolution because thats really more simple for me to handle than a faith with NO evidence except a few books that one being created us.
My parents said i have my free will and that i can choose what i want. If i want to believe in god, its ok with them. If i dont want to believe in him/it/her i dont have to. Its my choice.
Yes, i think that an explosion made life on earth. It created the universe. But, it brings us up to more questions: Is there more universes? Who created the Big Bang? Is the God we believe in some highly advanced alien? Are we alone in the universe? And both Yes and No answers are equally terrifying.
So i would propose to lay down the topic and believe in what you want to, because there will always be people who disagree with you. And people are too stubborn in their beliefs. And there were even wars because of religions, because people were too blunt to realise some normal things.
Just imagine if someone proves that there is no God, or if it was some highly developed alien who controls everything and we are just puppets.
People have to believe in something when they are sad or happy or depressed, because people cannot agree that things just randomly happen, that there isnt anybody who created them. People need answers, and thats how religion was made, because they didnt have answers, and they dont have them now, when we have cars and space stations, they have books who could easily be written by some religious extremists... They dont have proof that the person who was wrapped in that blanked was really a son of god, not some person who claimed to be a son of god and that the events just randomly happened.

I didnt try to insult anybody, this was my argument.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 11:16 AM

For me, it's not a choice. It's a simple lack of belief. I don't feel this amazing connection with god or a need to believe. I also think that people want a higher spiritual power to explain why bad things happen or why stuff happens that is out of their control. The tornado happened because it was god's will and he wanted to test us. It was god's will that the patient recovered from the bad car accident or greatly improved a year later after the stroke. It's easier that way and as far as I can see, it's a stress coping mechanism.

Like if I don't get this job, it's god's will. It's not that the hospital was union or there was a more qualified person than me. It's not that I was too tired from doing CPR a few hours before and so I interviewed poorly.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 12:30 PM

Hi Hannah,

I do believe in a god, just not the God of Christianity. I believe that God is something so unlike anything we've ever encountered, anything we could possibly fathom, that no religious or "inspired" text (I don't believe in the Holy Spirit or divine inspiration) could possibly capture him in his entirety. He is beyond words, beyond imagination. I think that maybe we see glimpses of him here on earth, but that we can't know him completely, and we can't know his will or what is in store for us after death. We can only live our lives in the best way that we know how in the meantime and do what we think is right. Now that I think about it, an appropriate title for what I believe might be "agnostic theism."

That is what I believe now. However, I used to be an atheist. But just because I believe in a god now does not mean that I see that time in my life as being "lesser." It is simply what I believed back then, and I feel it is a completely valid belief, even today. I think that many theists see atheists as leading "sad" lives, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the basis of atheism, from what I experienced, is appreciating what you have in the here and now. It's not looking to the future (i.e. going to Heaven) to make you happy. As Douglas Adams said, "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it, too?" And that is something that I completely agree with, even as a theist. This world is too beautiful to let pass us by, and I personally believe that many theists are far too wrapped up in their belief in God and do just that. They miss out on the sheer beauty of things, because they are reading too much into it. They are too busy searching for the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

I highly recommend reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, if you truly want to understand atheism (even if you are a theist). Not only does it explain the beliefs of atheists in great detail and give explanations as to why, but it really captures the beauty of it, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"
Why the quotations around 'other religions?' In my opinion, since my god is unfathomable, everyone is going to be a little bit right and a little bit wrong when it comes to what he is and isn't. So to me, every religion is equally valid. I see them as merely interpretations of the same thing. It seems to me that you think your religion is somehow superior. And I'm sorry, but there is no evidence to suggest that your method of thinking is any more correct than that of any other religious creed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I understand people could ask me the same question . . . but I see evidence of God everywhere. Even the fact that we exist is evidence of God.
The thing is, just as you see so much evidence in favor of God, there are people who see just as much against God. Personally, in my honest opinion, I think there is far more evidence in favor of evolution than there is of Adam and Eve. (Yes, I do believe firmly in evolution and always have, even when I considered myself a Catholic way back when. To me, God and evolution are not mutually exclusive.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I mean, is it really that likely that some explosion happened that created life on Earth? Come on, be honest . . .
Evolution is something that can be proven in science. And let's "be honest," God is an intangible being. There is no way that we can concretely prove he exists. Even as a theist, I accept that as a fact. My belief in a god is based purely on faith alone, and while faith can be a beautiful thing, it is a far cry from scientific evidence.

Now, I'm not going to go into all the arguments against the existence of God, because quite frankly, that's been done and it's quite tedious work. But I hope this answers your question and gives you some insight into the issue.

Last edited by DeletedAccount32; January 10th 2014 at 06:00 PM.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 04:47 PM

I don't believe in God because I can't see why someone so "loving" could have committed such atrocities (Noah's Ark and Lot's Wife Looks Back, two examples from my childhood bible stories book).
Not to mention all the awful things going on in the world today, what did he just create us and then bugger off? What kind of person, let alone God, can watch people he created suffer in such terrible ways? Poverty, famine, natural disasters, starvation, abuse, murder. Just look at some of the things people on TeenHelp have had to deal with.

I run things on a basis of "If there's no proof, it's not real." It's how I handle my own OCD thoughts about bad things happening, and it's how I deal with religion. At least science has a basis in fact.

I want to add, though, if you believe in God, that's great. I have absolutely nothing against people who do, my whole family is Catholic. As long as you're happy, and not using your religion as an excuse for being rude and discriminating, then we'll get along fine. Religion just isn't for me.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 05:51 PM

Hey, there. I'm going to respond to some of your post. Please, don't get offended with what I say, just sit and think about it. Anyone who is logical will understand what I'm saying. You don't need evidence to believe in god. That's your choice. Even when I was a Christian, I admitted to myself that there was no evidence, once I began to actually think about it more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
How can people not believe in God? Like, seriously? I mean, can you not see Him and all His creation everywhere?
First of all, it depends DRASTICALLY on how you are defining god. I am going to assume it is the Christian god. Forgive me if it's not. I have never seen god. I am also going to assume that you have never seen him either. When you say, "Can you not see Him," no, I can't. Can you? I do see "creation" everywhere, but I don't know if I'd call it creation. Can you prove it has been created? Or are you just assuming that based on your beliefs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"
For many people, they don't believe it. They know it. Evolution is a fact. We've observed it in a laboratory. The same goes with cause and effect, assuming you are referencing the big bang. We have created many big bangs, and have proven that matter can actually come from nothing, so-to-speak. It isn't something that we have to believe in. We've observed it, and we can run the same experiments over again, with the same results. God cannot be tested, or subjected to any methods, so we have no evidence to prove his existence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I mean, to me, my God - THE God - is everythin. I know that I couldn't live without Him and I want to know why other people think they can.
I see many people living without him, don't you? So I think it's underestimating to say, "think they can," because they most certainly are. Secondly, this is flawed logic. Just because YOU can't do something, doesn't mean someone else can't. I can't slam dunk a basketball. Maybe you can. Other's settle for a 9-5, other don't see how anyone can settle for that. It's all very relative and subjected to the individual. Let me ask you, how do you live without Allah?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I understand people could ask me the same question . . . but I see evidence of God everywhere. Even the fact that we exist is evidence of God.
Existence isn't evidence of god anymore than a stone is evidence of a rock-monster. How does existence give evidence for god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I mean, is it really that likely that some explosion happened that created life on Earth? Come on, be honest . . .
An explosion didn't create life on Earth. A collision of Universes caused the big bang, which caused primordial ooze to form due to the higgs boson particle. This ooze, under the right conditions, gave life to a single cell which over time evolved, as all living creatures do, and slowly gave rise to the variety of species you see due to adaptations based on the environments of the creatures and the necessity to survive. All of this has been demonstrated in a lab, including the higgs boson. So, yes, it's very likely. More likely than god who has never been subjected to a single test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
Yeah, I know He allows bad things to happen, like famines and floods and things like that, which I understand could put some people off. But He doesn't cause them.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"
-Epicurus

Regardless, this is a misconception. You're assuming god just allows them. You honestly don't know. All you have is a book that tells you something, and you trust it. You've never tested god on his goodness. Whether god exists or not, you cannot prove he even has a personality or that he is even a he. A text isn't proof. That's faith. Like I said, you're welcomed to have faith. But don't pretend that your faith is evidence.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 06:20 PM

Hey there Hannah,

I personally have had way too many experiences in my life to deny God's existence. I've been through some pretty horrible things that no one should have to endure, and I believe that by the grace of God I've been saved and am still living today.
I'm still battling a lot, and I keep the firm faith that everything that has happened to me has purpose and was meant to happen. I believe God does not give you anything He believes you cannot handle.
I'm Catholic, I go to church every Sunday with my family. I believe in Him and the Holy Spirit and Adam and Eve, the whole nine yards. And I still dealing with self harm, anorexia and deeper issues. But I have yet to lose faith in Him.
Like you, I don't necessarily understand how people don't believe in God, and I honestly don't think I ever will. But the truth is, it doesn't matter. Your beliefs might not match up with everybody else's, but that's perfectly okay. All that matters is that you are firm in your own beliefs.
I don't have a problem with anyone who doesn't agree with my views on religion. I mean, it's their choice to believe what they want to believe. As long as no one is trying to push their views onto me, then we'll get along smoothly.
Everyone has free will in what they choose to believe in or don't believe in.
Keep believing in what you do, okay?
If you ever wanna talk, feel free to PM me.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 08:29 PM

I believe in God and his existence. I also do not believe in the establishment of religion in the way it is used today - some religions... or specifically, types of churches are good for socializing and meeting new people, but on the fact of just religion - it's not perfect. Christianity is no more superior than Buddhism or Judiasm or Islamic or Atheism.

I believe in God, like I said but I can also see the perspective of atheist and agnostic views. It is true that we have no proof, us that do believe in God. The bible - written solely by man. You can say they are his words, but can you prove it with a recording? No. You can say he created the earth and the land, but can you prove it with his signature engraved in the core of it? No. We can't prove anything. We can really only do things based on individual beliefs.

I also believe in Evolution, but my idea of evolution is pretty much similar and theorized - but on the belief that God created this idea of evolution.

I also believe that the famines and other negative causes were created due to our wrongdoings as mankind. He gave us free will and the right to live. He wants us to lead our own lives, not for him to interfere. That's just my belief.

If someone else does not believe what I believe, who am I to judge them? You can believe that a frog is your god for all I care. I'm not going to judge you, hate you, or anything of the like.

Don't force your religious (or anti/non-religious) beliefs on me and we'll be 100%, absolutely fine.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 10:08 PM

The short answer is I'm a Psychology student, so I was basically born to question and doubt everything. Hah.

I've always struggled with Christianity - despite being raised by regularly-worshipping Presbyterian and Catholic parents and living in a country dominated by religion. Since I was very young I remember always doubting it, even when I wanted to believe, and looking for more evidence.

I find the idea of devoting my life to something I can't see, something that's supposed to be a thousand times better than me, very hard - I suppose I have too much pride.

I also don't agree with a lot of things about Christianity - I'm a pro-choice bisexual who is a big fan of premarital sex in all its forms, and I don't think the Catholic Church and I exactly see eye-to-eye on those things...

I am agnostic and I do think there is some form of higher power, but I can't ever see myself being a devoted Christian.

They're just my reasons. Sorry if I have offended anyone.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 10:12 PM

So tell me about this... God is all knowing, makes a destiny for us, whatever... That means he's behind wars too... The Crusades, the World Wars, etc... What are we here for??? His Entertainment??? That either makes us chumps or God's a Sadist... I will not let 'something' chose, how I live, the 'perfect' way I have to strive for, I make my own luck, my own destiny... Or as I have my religion set on here.... Ammunition.


   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 10:29 PM

So we have come to a conclusion. Everyone believe in "something" whether its a god, an alien or evolution. Or they dont believe. As long as they dont pick at eachother everything is fine. When they start to pick at eachother:
BOOM! CRUSADES!
Conclusion: Believe in what you want, no one will judge you until you judge him first.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 10th 2014, 11:43 PM

It's just a lack of belief in it all really. I also don't understand why there is so much bad stuff going on in the world if there is someone looking over us, some people may say that it's Gods plan but I don't see why it would be any persons plan to let people suffer, for wars to happen, etc.

If anyone believes in any religion then so be it, I'm not going to dislike you or tell you that you're wrong or anything along those lines, we all have our own beliefs and opinions.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 11th 2014, 01:19 AM

I was never brought up believing in it and was content enough to believe that what's here is here and we don't necessarily need to come up with an explanation for anything such as saying God created it. Sometimes things are best left mysteries.

I do believe in some things, just not a God. I sort of have my own beliefs for what happens such as after death, but as I said, some things just don't require an explanation. As some others said, too, if God is supposedly all-loving, there's a lot of suffering.

But, I'm not going to say you're wrong for believing what you do. We all have a difference of opinions.


   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 11th 2014, 06:47 AM

My parents never forced religion on me. They let me think and choose for myself freely, and I'm thankful for that. I currently do not believe in any God. However, if irrefutable scientific evidence (that does not include circular reasoning) is published, I'm willing to change my stance. For now, I don't see any point in investing my life into a single book that's flawed and outdated. This is my personal opinion, and I do not wish to offend anyone.




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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 11th 2014, 10:32 AM

Pretty simple, really. I see a lot of conjecture, and no supporting evidence.
How can't you believe in Odin? He did say he would destroy the ice giants. When did you last see an ice giant?


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 11th 2014, 11:42 PM

Hey Hannah,

For quite a while I was desperate to believe in god, but just found it too hard a pill to swallow. Maybe I think too logically, but and all powerful entity just seems impossible to me. Then, if God is all powerful and loves humans above all else, why is there disease? I understand the free will argument, so wars are entirely our fault, but surely of god was all powerful he would not let disease kill people by the millions each day. Or their food supply from meagre agricultural land, so they starve.

Plus, if you believe in god you probably believe in the devil. Why would god not destroy satan? In the new testament the angel Gabriel says to Mary: "nothing is impossible to god". Surely that would be easy.

The other thing I'll put here that I dont understand is this; if god is omnibenevolent and incapable of causing suffering, how can he condemn humans to an eternity of unimaginable suffering in hell?

Well, those are just a few things I never understood.
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 12th 2014, 12:20 AM

The things you see as proof of God's existence don't necessarily qualify as proof for other people. They see the suffering in the world and wonder how a God so powerful could let such things happen. There are things within the context of the bible that don't work in proving the existence of God either. Belief in God is a personal decision and just because you believe in him and have found reasons to support your belief doesn't mean other people are going to support you in those belief. Believing in God is believing in something that can't be proven and, in a lot of ways is believing in something that can be DIS-PROVEN more often than not, so you have to trust in faith.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 12th 2014, 02:13 AM

This question can be answered in a very simple way without getting too deep with details and descriptions. Reading into your post, I can sense that you feel your life through a higher entity, a God. Some do, some don't. It's simple from the surface. Reality is different for every individual and there are examples. We aren't a society of highly developed mentality/consciousness which allows us to share one collective reality, completely the same for everyone. Every person has their own understanding of creation and existence, regarding proof or not. You can't force yourself into any belief, in general. Maybe it has a lot to do with how you're raised since belief is not all conscious, but I won't get into it as there's possibility of someone getting offended.
All in all, this is a subjective topic. We all see one objective image, but each person interprets it as they may - the existence, creation, reason behind everything they see, relationships, events and feelings. It's normal. And there might not be a real right answer, yet.

Personally, I don't believe because I've never felt the presence of God. I've researched religions and tried reasoning, but no, I just don't feel that way. I open to believing in a higher entity, bodiless forces behind the universe for my own personal experiences. It's not that I have the same reasons as most of everyone else in this thread (and I don't, fully) for not believing. Respect is there for any religious and non-religious person although the reality of being convinced in this possibility you've mentioned is not.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 12th 2014, 06:31 AM

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Originally Posted by .:BreakingBeautifully:. View Post
Believing in God is believing in something that can't be proven and, in a lot of ways is believing in something that can be DIS-PROVEN more often than not, so you have to trust in faith.
Um, no. One of the reasons people generally find the idea of contemporary deities do untenable is because they're inherently not able to be "disproven" (falsifiable). Arguing for something of that manner of alleged existence, or asserting that God is "beyond human comprehension", ultimately results in a rather obtuse and typically self-defeating conclusion. You can't project a deity into an ether of incomprehensibility and then state you yourself have good reason to believe in their existence. If one side can't comprehend it, neither can you. "Faith" is also an overwhelmingly poor rationale for believing in anything. It essentially boils down to belief for belief's sake. That sort of disposition is available to you, but it doesn't supply anything to debate where discovery and logical discussion are undertaken to arrive at a sound conclusion.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 12th 2014, 04:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I wonder this a lot. And it blows me away really.
You might be surprised how many Atheists/Humanists would be blown away considering the opposite.
For the purpose of this post, by the way, I'll be using 'atheist' to define people with similar beliefs to myself (ie. Humanist), but I'd note that it's incredibly important to remember that Atheism isn't some sort of opposing religion; it's simply a term describing lack of belief in any deities. It doesn't come with any underlying beliefs at all (even if many atheists may reason similarly). Different athiests are atheists for different reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
How can people not believe in God? Like, seriously? I mean, can you not see Him and all His creation everywhere?
Many people do believe in a god because they wonder at the Earth and its beauty. And, yes, it is incredibly beautiful.
In my opinion, deities tend to serve two main purposes: one is controlling other people, and the other is to give answers where there is mystery. Among many theists, there is an (albeit highly illogical) attitude of 'science can't explain this yet, therefore God'.
But the thing is, whilst many people do believe in a god being responsible for the universe, it seems incredible that any omnipotent or omniscient God would let so many people be deceived (bear in mind that no religion has over 50% of the world population, or anything like it). If you're right, how many others are wrong, and why?
My main issue with this argument is, however, simply the sheer size of the universe. Don't I see God in Creation (ie. the Universe)? No. I see a vast expanse of unimaginable proportions, and I for one do not see how such enormity would or could be created for the sole purpose of "having a relationship with [a human]". I mean, does that not stretch even to arrogance? The idea that the whole universe has been made especially for humans...no. It's nonsensical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"
"Belief" in Evolutionary Theory is about the same as "belief" in gravity. Essentially, it's as close as we get to irrefutable knowledge.
You claim not to have been brainwashed. Perhaps you haven't, but if that is indeed the case, your scientific knowledge is frankly pitiable in this fantastic age of information.
How can you not "believe" in evolution? You can see it. There is literally too much evidence to stay within the character limit on the post, but you could consider doing something really complicated like Googling 'evidence for evolutionary. theory'. Claims that it is incorrect and that the story of Creation are pseudoscience at best, and it's frankly outrageous to consider that they could be a viable alternative to evolution. Science improves by people finding problems or areas where they don't feel as if they know enough. These people set up tests, observe and evaluate to find out more. They do not indoctrinate children with pseudoscience based off of an intangible imaginary friend.

Consider this if you find other religions so incongruous, by the way: see how easily you dismiss others' beliefs? Now do you understand how easily atheists dismiss yours?
Each and every person on this Earth is entitled to an opinion, and in addition to the sheer arrogance of dismissing others without objective consideration of your own beliefs, it's unfair to assert superiority over them, for instance by putting quotation marks around parts of their description, as if they're clearly and obviously not contenders. Sorry, but your beliefs are just as confusing to everyone else as everyone else's are to you. Being a little more perceptive and thoughtful about them might show you that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I mean, to me, my God - THE God - is everythin. I know that I couldn't live without Him and I want to know why other people think they can. (Before anyone thinks it I have not grown up in a church, nor have I been brainwashed by parents or other family members. This was entirely my decision - and now my life)
It would be rather a shame if it turned out not to be true. You know, people in Ancient Greek times dedicated their whole lives to Zeus, their intangible deity, but someone they were certain existed and gave them life. With your advantageous hindsight, do you think that their lives revolving around worshipping Zeus was the very best thing they could have possibly hoped to achieve with their lives?
Personally, I think that the self-fulfillment which they felt through doing so cannot have been bad. Being pleased with one's life is important, and they thought that they'd been absolutely right about Zeus' existence. That probably made them feel better. Having answers and believing that they're correct (even if they're not) is enormously comforting, and I can't blame anyone for sticking with delusion over unknowingness. But personally, I'd rather pursue the truth, albeit being a bit slower about it. Those truths - like all the other scientific discoveries of humankind - will help other people significantly. And that's how I'd rather spend my life, helping other, real people with real, tangible and observable help, rather than worshiping an unknown deity for self-fulfilment and the hope of eternal life. Helping others is my self-fulfilment and that is exactly how I can live my life without a god.

A short word on being brainwashed or indoctrinated, by the way. Firstly, whilst it's most prevalent in the vulnerable minds of children, indoctrination can happen at any age. And the idea is that you probably don't realise it, so you think you're making your own choices. It doesn't necessarily have to be a parent. Anyone telling anyone about religion is putting doubt into their minds about reality. Observing other possibilities is useful, but often religions will be able to take advantage of a lack of knowledge and thirst for answers which humankind has. Just a point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I understand people could ask me the same question . . . but I see evidence of God everywhere. Even the fact that we exist is evidence of God. I mean, is it really that likely that some explosion happened that created life on Earth? Come on, be honest . . .
Most scientific discoveries go Hypothesis -> Experiment -> Observation and analysis -> Conclusion. Yours is more Conclusion -> Observation. "God exists, therefore this tree's beauty is because of God". A subtle difference, but it means that it doesn't really work. You see circumstantial evidence of God. But if you were to start from a clean slate, with no idea of your God or any other, you'd probably invent a deity (we do that before progressing to actual science) to explain it, but I think the chances of you actually coming across the same Abrahamic God in which you have so much faith are next to zero.

The idea that everything revolves around Earth's existence is again rather woefully misguided. It might seem wonderfully important to you, and Earth is definitely important for humans - it's our home - but really you're just a tiny, insignificant speck of stuff on another miniscule speck of stuff orbiting another small amount of stuff and so on. The universe is huge. Really huge. Bigger than we really could ever imagine. We're not at the centre of it.
Furthermore showing a lamentable lack of scientific knowledge before dismissing the theory, no-one has (to my knowledge) claimed a theory that the universe came into existence with a giant explosion. Expansion. It may not be right; it'll probably be seen as an archaic theory a century from now. That'll be because it will have been built upon and improved. The same is true of most theories. The evidence of some sort of expansion, however, is great. Again, I cannot show you it all. Google, however, probably can (or at least all that which humans have discovered).

I'd point out that such dismissal of a theory which you clearly know little, if anything, about is rather rich coming from someone who believes that an invisible, almighty force created everything for the purpose of loving (with AIDs and MRSA and disasters and pain and suffering) some tiny, ever so slightly developed bits of carbon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
Yeah, I know He allows bad things to happen, like famines and floods and things like that, which I understand could put some people off. But He doesn't cause them.
So...uhhh...what causes them? If God caused everything, it includes all 'bad' things. If God didn't cause everything, your whole argument somewhat falls apart, because it would mean that God potentially didn't cause the Universe, humanity, or really anything. It could just be a very fortunate accident. But that would be *just ridiculous*, obviously.

Even if what you were saying did have any basis, it doesn't explain why God would allow suffering. Or at least, to that extent. Suffering of myself and others allows me to appreciate other things. And we can all learn from mistakes (causing suffering). The pointless deaths of thousands of perfectly innocent and unsuspecting people doesn't really allow them or anyone else to learn. Nor does unending pain; I mean, what exactly is cancer meant to teach us?
If God exists, he's not loving. The Epicurus quote above basically sums up the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
Basically though, I'm just curious, not trying to push my beliefs on people
Well, there you go. I've been harsh on your beliefs, I know, but I am harsh on my own too. You're allowed to challenge me if you like. In fact, I'd appreciate it. Truly being able to objectively evaluate conclusions which you've come to and justify, change or improve upon them is very important, in my opinion. Having your beliefs challenged gives an excellent opportunity to do that. So, please, do see my arguments as an opportunity to consider your beliefs, and learn about them. You don't have to change them, but even just being able to justify them better to yourself and others (whilst remaining entirely objective) can be a useful exercise.
Put others' (especially mine, please go ahead) views under scrutiny by all means, but make sure to do that same to your own.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 12th 2014, 06:34 PM

I have met many people who do not believe in God and they typically believe that God is responsible for all of the evil in the world. They typically think to themselves, "God knows that I'm a good person and He is doing nothing. I am getting no rewards for my good deeds and they decide to say 'forget you' to God and go about things on their own terms"

But people don't know that God wants you to choose Him. If you don't choose to have a relationship with Him than every piece of your relationship with God is not authentic. It is free will. God hates seeing these bad things happen over and over again but He can not intervene with your life and MAKE you believe in Him because that means that you have been robbed of the choice of coming to Him and your relationship is not real.(And that is NOT Godly)

Also, a lot of the people I have met who can start to grasp God the more I talk to them about Him also have a strong fear of Him because He is an authority figure. If they have had authoritarian parents their whole life or controlling, condemning parents their whole life it is that much harder for them to equate God with mercy.

Quite frankly I didn't believe in God for the first 18 years of my life because I felt like He was responsible for all of my problems and I was pissed as hell at Him. I also had a horrible relationship with my parents and felt like He was going to be an unmerciful, vindictive, wrathful force in my life because of my view of authority.

So honestly, I completely understand why people don't believe in God. What really leaves me gobsmacked is when people tell me they are Satan worshippers.
DID THEY THINK ANYTHING THROUGH WHEN THEY MADE THAT CHOICE? SO WHEN ONE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS PASSES AND YOU ARE TALKING TO THE FAMILY THAT HAS LOST THEIR LOVED ONE WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU GOING TO SAY TO THEM? DO YOU THINK THEY WILL EVEN SPEAK TO YOU? DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER THEM? YOU'RE GOING TO BLESS THEIR FAIMLY WITH A MARK OF SATAN IS WHAT YOU'VE DECIDED TO DO!
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 13th 2014, 11:45 AM

My personal viewpoint is that knowledge of the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, and that faith is in a separate domain to 'knowledge' (or science). So how can I not believe in God? Simple. I don't.

Now, I've wondered sometimes, and had some really interesting conversations with my sister - who is a Anglican priest. Perhaps I'm missing some element that gives faith? Perhaps my faith is just a lot more general? I don't know, and I don't really mind.

I still see beauty in the world, I just don't believe that a deity placed it there for me.

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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 13th 2014, 12:09 PM

I don't know, I once went to a Christain Conference about 3 years ago. I found that people are two faced and big fat liars. Why should I go to a "Church" and listen to a priest blab on about the messages from the bible. How can you really tell that those people wrote those scriptures? They could have been under hallucinations while writing these supposedly words of God/Jesus? Why should I follow this type of religion? I don't believe in any type of religion. I don't care about what you think I should believe in.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 13th 2014, 07:32 PM

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Originally Posted by hannahgreenwood View Post
I have met many people who do not believe in God and they typically believe that God is responsible for all of the evil in the world. They typically think to themselves, "God knows that I'm a good person and He is doing nothing. I am getting no rewards for my good deeds and they decide to say 'forget you' to God and go about things on their own terms"

But people don't know that God wants you to choose Him. If you don't choose to have a relationship with Him than every piece of your relationship with God is not authentic. It is free will. God hates seeing these bad things happen over and over again but He can not intervene with your life and MAKE you believe in Him because that means that you have been robbed of the choice of coming to Him and your relationship is not real.(And that is NOT Godly)

Also, a lot of the people I have met who can start to grasp God the more I talk to them about Him also have a strong fear of Him because He is an authority figure. If they have had authoritarian parents their whole life or controlling, condemning parents their whole life it is that much harder for them to equate God with mercy.

Quite frankly I didn't believe in God for the first 18 years of my life because I felt like He was responsible for all of my problems and I was pissed as hell at Him. I also had a horrible relationship with my parents and felt like He was going to be an unmerciful, vindictive, wrathful force in my life because of my view of authority.

So honestly, I completely understand why people don't believe in God. What really leaves me gobsmacked is when people tell me they are Satan worshippers.
DID THEY THINK ANYTHING THROUGH WHEN THEY MADE THAT CHOICE? SO WHEN ONE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS PASSES AND YOU ARE TALKING TO THE FAMILY THAT HAS LOST THEIR LOVED ONE WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU GOING TO SAY TO THEM? DO YOU THINK THEY WILL EVEN SPEAK TO YOU? DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER THEM? YOU'RE GOING TO BLESS THEIR FAIMLY WITH A MARK OF SATAN IS WHAT YOU'VE DECIDED TO DO!
Your argument of free will doesn't really explain, eg. earthquakes. Or hurricanes. Or disease. Or famine. Etc.

One thing I feel I have to point out, though, is that whilst worshipping Satan may not necessarily give the most comfort, worshipping God isn't meant to necessarily just be a way to cheer people up. Anyone can cheer someone up with some fairytale about redemption. I thought Christians actually had to believe it...


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 14th 2014, 05:27 PM

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Originally Posted by MovedByMercy View Post
I wonder this a lot. And it blows me away really.

How can people not believe in God? Like, seriously? I mean, can you not see Him and all His creation everywhere?

Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"

I mean, to me, my God - THE God - is everythin. I know that I couldn't live without Him and I want to know why other people think they can. (Before anyone thinks it I have not grown up in a church, nor have I been brainwashed by parents or other family members. This was entirely my decision - and now my life)

I understand people could ask me the same question . . . but I see evidence of God everywhere. Even the fact that we exist is evidence of God. I mean, is it really that likely that some explosion happened that created life on Earth? Come on, be honest . . .

Yeah, I know He allows bad things to happen, like famines and floods and things like that, which I understand could put some people off. But He doesn't cause them.

Basically though, I'm just curious, not trying to push my beliefs on people

It's simple : I do not worship God. I don't deny his existence, neither do I follow him - if he's there, cool, but it's not something I bother myself with. I do not accept any sort of "guardianship" like this, and I've never felt close to religion or any sacred beliefs. I follow morality and my own codex. Why don't I murder people? Because it's not something I'd like have happening to me.
Selfish? Maybe. It's just me.

"
Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"

Duh
How about
We just can.

It's called "personal point of view" or "opinion".


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 14th 2014, 06:17 PM

For me, well I absolutely believe in God. I can see that everyone else has their own opinions. But I know its one of those things that you have to have faith about. And like Hannah said, everything around is evidence.
Everyone is different, and grew up differently.
This is just what I believe and know.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 14th 2014, 07:48 PM

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Originally Posted by Nagne View Post
"
Like, people who believe in evolution, and cause and effect and whatever - how on earth can you believe that? Or other "religions"

Duh
How about
We just can.

It's called "personal point of view" or "opinion".
Sorry, but no.
Evolution is not a personal point of view or opinion. It is observable, scientific knowledge.
'We just can' 'believe' in a scientific theory is about the worst reasoning I have heard for trust in anything. There are so many more relevant ways to justify trust in evolutionary theory. Sorry.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 15th 2014, 02:16 AM

AdamtheFish

Yes free will does not cause hurricanes and other natural disasters. Science does.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 15th 2014, 02:51 AM

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AdamtheFish

Yes free will does not cause hurricanes and other natural disasters. Science does.
You call it a "natural" disaster and yet you claim science, something projected by humans, causes it. Natural disasters are called natural because they occur without human intervention. Of course, if there is something that I'm not seeing in your post, please point it out. However, if it is another accusation without any logical support (finger pointing), I'm probably inclined to not see the exact idea behind it.




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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 15th 2014, 02:53 AM

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Originally Posted by hannahgreenwood View Post
AdamtheFish

Yes free will does not cause hurricanes and other natural disasters. Science does.
What even...
You do know science is an epistemological framework, right? The natural processes science observes cause hurricanes. Science just explains these phenomena. There is no actual agency on science's part...
I think you have a very confused view on the issue.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 15th 2014, 04:31 PM

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Originally Posted by hannahgreenwood View Post
AdamtheFish

Yes free will does not cause hurricanes and other natural disasters. Science does.
Wut?

So an absence of scientific knowledge would prevent natural disasters?

I beg to differ. Observance of natural disasters indeed can help save lives and limit damage.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 23rd 2014, 12:02 AM

I just told Adam that he is absolutely right. That natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes are completely out of our control. Those disasters have nothing to do with our choices here. Those will happen whether we have free will or not.

Science explains the earthquakes because if you want to know what causes an earthquake we have all the facts and evidence to support that tectonic plates underneath the Earth's surface move and cause the ground above to shake and rumble.
   
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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 23rd 2014, 04:22 AM

I don't believe in God because I don't need to. I'm a good person, I don't maliciously hurt people, I try to be helpful. I don't need God to make me that way. I keep going back to a quote from the TV show Supernatural. Best thing the show ever did was bring Angels into the mix in season 3. Anyway this is a dialogue between one of the main characters and an Angel, who with the other Angels are about to let the apocalypse happen because they believe they will win and there will be peace on Earth. After millions of people die in the process.

"Castiel: Try to understand, this is long foretold. This is your...
Dean Winchester: Destiny? Don't gimme that holy crap. Destiny, God's plan, it's all a bunch of lies, you poor stupid sonofabitch! It's just a way for your bosses to keep me and keep you in line! You know what's real? People. Families. *That's* real. And you're gonna watch 'em all burn?
Castiel: [Advancing] What is so worth saving? I see nothing but pain here! I see inside you, I see your guilt, your anger, confusion. In paradise, all is forgiven. You'll be at peace. Even with Sam.
[he looks away, but Dean leans slightly, catching his eyes again]
Dean Winchester: You can take your peace, and shove it up your lily-white ass. 'Cause I'll take the pain, and the guilt, I'll even take Sam as is. It's a lot better than bein' some Stepford Bitch in paradise! This is simple, Cas!"

So yeah I'll take all the crap that comes with this life, and the good things, because honestly that's the most important part of my existence, life. Not what might happen afterwards. I make things happen in my life not God.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 23rd 2014, 05:01 AM

I was both raised in a nonreligious household and when I got to the age to start critically thinking, the idea of god(s) never made sense to me. Science and evolution make sense logically, there is legitimate proof besides "faith," so that is what I believe.


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Re: How can people not believe in God? - January 24th 2014, 08:30 PM

Woah sorry I think I left my brain somewhere.
I wasn't agreeing with AdamtheFish. I was helping clarify some points he made earlier.

That natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes are completely out of our control. Those disasters have nothing to do with our choices here. Those will happen whether we have free will or not.

Science explains the earthquakes because if you want to know what causes an earthquake we have all the facts and evidence to support that tectonic plates underneath the Earth's surface move and cause the ground above to shake and rumble.
   
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