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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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What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - May 26th 2015, 11:19 PM

I'm interested in everyone's thoughts and reasons. I will play Devil's Advocate on both sides, and I encourage everyone to do the same, regardless of position. The point of this thread is to debate, or vent. If you do not want to debate, or do not want your beliefs contested, then don't respond. Please keep it civil, or I will ask a moderator to close the thread.

Here are my reasons:

1. Incompatibility of science with organized religion
2. I want to live my life as a choose
3. Propaganda and manipulation of data by the religious


Elaborated:
1: I will say I am not opposed to the idea of a deity. I just find it incompatible with organized religion. That is, maybe God exists, maybe Jesus exists, maybe Allah, maybe YHWH. I don't really know. However, I do know that the present day Old Testament does not line up with the facts that we have in modern science. I would be more accepting of a Abrahamic religion provided the OT was unanimously decided amongst scholars to not be taken literally.

2: Self-explanatory. Even if there is a god, I'd find it difficult to live a moral life as defined by a book. That is, I want to do what I want to do so long as it doesn't cause harm to another person, or as long as everything is consented to in a prior arrangement.

3: Three Words: Answers in Genesis.

I encourage anyone to challenge my points (obviously referencing #1 or #3).
   
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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - May 27th 2015, 04:19 PM

I agree completely with your points. The first one especially is what prevents me from believing and I won't believe until I am convinced that organised religion is compatible with science. I hope me saying this won't offend anyone who practices Christianity (I'm only picking on Christianity because it was the religion I broke from, most of this applies to Islam and Judaism in some way also) for it's not my intention, but I just can't see how you could make a logical case to support some claims made by your religion. As a Catholic, I was supposed to believe that a man who's his own father was nailed to a cross for our sins and that we're to thank him by literally eating his flesh and literally drinking his blood. This isn't intended as an attack on the faith at all, I'm genuinely wondering how you support that belief and other beliefs associated with your religion? (such as its much debunked theory on the earth's creation, God being considered loving and kind despite killing millions of people in various furious fits, etc) Or do you choose not to believe in some specifics, particularly those from the Old Testament, and take the OT metaphorically? I mean, in that case, like Michael, I'd be a bit more tolerant of Christianity and other Abrahamic religions. But honestly, enlighten me, for I am curious.

The point about propaganda resonates with me too. That and I believe religious organisations (and people) often behave in a way that is downright unacceptable. For example, take the Catholic Church in Ireland. I'd find it hard to have faith in a church that has covered up large scale child abuse, tortured unmarried mothers and so on and so forth. The list goes on.
   
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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - May 30th 2015, 10:57 PM

I don't follow any one religion. I do believe in a God but I don't think there is a right or wrong God to follow. I also don't really follow the bible or take it literally. I read it to find some good verses for inspiration but I don't read it and think "This is true in every word." I think some of my feelings are different than a lot of other people which is why I rarely talk about them.

I actually enjoyed reading your post and your reasons because I have had the same thoughts and feelings. I guess I just got to a point where I decided I would stop taking those points and feelings into consideration and do what felt right. Believing in God feels right to me. Due to the things I have been through in life and survived my faith has grown. I guess what I am trying to say in this huge ramble is that I have no reason to believe other then a feeling that there is something more. I might just need faith to keep me going in times of darkness. I don't really see anything wrong with that as long as I am not imposing my views on people.

However, I know that my feelings and thoughts are not shared. I know there are people who would debate/oppose what I have said. I am fine with that. But, it's not something that will change my beliefs.

I don't really have a lot to debate. I just wanted to share my feelings.


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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - June 1st 2015, 02:43 AM

I'm a Christian but I do think that there are some people who take this "religion" thing too far. I don't want to be hipster-ish and say that "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual" but that's really the truth.

I believe simply because it gives me something to draw my strength from. Sometimes I need that extra push, and having the faith I have makes it easier to find that. Also, it gives me something to focus on and a reason for me to fight for my recovery.


it's just a spark, but it's enough to keep me going. and when it's dark out, no one's around, it keeps glowing.

the truth hurts but it hasn't stung enough to stop me.

see, you're just wasted and thinking 'bout the past again, darling, you'll be okay.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. - song of songs 4:7
   
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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - June 1st 2015, 04:11 AM

I am a Catholic and I believe in God.
I've been attending church since I was a child and have been Baptised, had my First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Reconciliation.
My whole family, both on my Mum and Dad's side, are Catholic.
I don't believe in God because my family do or because I feel I have to.
I believe in God because I want to.


   
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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - June 2nd 2015, 08:36 PM

In the interests of honesty, it would be amiss for me to say other than a fairly significant part of why I believe in God is because I was born into a Catholic family and raised as a Catholic. Without that fairly hefty nudge, it's more open to question whether I would have the beliefs I have now. So for completeness I should start off with that one.

That said, a lot of people born and raised in similar circumstances ended up becoming agnostics or atheists, so that on its own isn't the reason. The true reason I still believe in God (even after some ups and downs to say the least) is because for me it seems the most plausible explanation for why things are as they are, and why we exist in the manner we exist. Unlike a lot of people, I don't see religion and science in conflict - I see science as the best means of explaning how this reality operates, and religion as the best means of explaining why it operates. Where the two conflict, it's because one or the other (or possibly even both) are being misunderstood, misused or even abused by their end user, in my opinion. The same also goes for when religion is used to justify inexcusable acts, such as widescale child abuse or acts of mass murder - it's a bastardisation of what religion is meant to be, and should be treated as such.

I suppose another reason why I believe in God rather than subscribing to the agnostic/atheistic standpoint is because part of me thinks that agnosticism/atheism is partly (key word: partly) motivated by a desire to live in a world where people aren't held to account for the consequences of their actions. Not necessarily in terms of legal accountability (although in some areas that might be the case), but in terms of moral accountability. This is a potentially controversial argument, so I won't advance it too strongly, but certainly in some areas (use of property, use of sexuality [as opposed to sexuality itself] and so on) it does appear to be the case. That for me doesn't make sense. We live in a world which is clearly dictated by cause and effect, and seeking to ignore the effect is to me somewhat childish. Someone on here has the following P J O'Rourke quote in their signature, which sums up my take on this: "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." So I suppose I find myself questioning the motive sometimes as much as the philosophy.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

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If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
RIP Nick
   
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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - June 3rd 2015, 03:08 AM

I'd say those are some pretty solid reasons. I'm Catholic, and I wouldn't practice my Christianity any other way; the other denominations of Christianity seem too enamored with the Bible.
Holy books and the attitude of infallibility towards them by many believers are what would keep me away from religion (some books sound ridiculous or have clearly been changed). All the Christians at school who try to convince me to join their Bible studies try to convince me with a "the Bible is absolutely perfect, blame the liberals for everything thats wrong with this country" type approach (Do you even GO to school??). They try to convince me the whole Bible is true and completely infallible, even though much of it goes contrary to science. The Catholic Church, while imperfect, recognizes the Big Bang theory and evolution as possible ways that God created the universe and humanity, and puts less emphasis on the Bible. But if I was going to join a religion simply because of their holy book, I'd join Islam- the Qur'an actually has a lot of scientific facts that could never have been discovered back then, which actually seems like "hey, maybe God did have this given to Mohammed".(http://www.islamreligion.com/category/34/)- some science on that site. I've also heard of some crazy inaccuracies though, like humans were once 70 feet tall or something like that (not from the source though,).
But yeah, I'm not sure if I'd be Catholic if I wasn't born and raised. I do feel like they're pretty tolerant and accepting though, contrary to public opinion.
Just a heads up, you're aware that God, YHWH, and Allah are the same God, right? They're understood differently, especially with Jesus in Christianity, but they're the same deity.


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Re: What prevents you from believing?/Why do you believe? - June 3rd 2015, 08:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichWolverineFreak View Post
Just a heads up, you're aware that God, YHWH, and Allah are the same God, right? They're understood differently, especially with Jesus in Christianity, but they're the same deity.
Assuming this is aimed at me: I am indeed, have been since I first learned about world religions best part of 15 years ago. World religion is a very interesting topic for me, as is philosophy generally.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
RIP Nick
   
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