Author Topic: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing  (Read 36131 times)

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Offline Quesi

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2013, 04:18:44 PM »
God wants us to believe in Him,

why?  How do you know?

suppose you made some microbes - bacteria - completely from scratch.  You kept them in a little jar with mini ecosystem for them to continue living.  And you wanted them to love one another.  Would you really care whether they believed you existed?  Would you destroy them if the didn't?  Would you really love them?

Clearly you have never played The Sims  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sims

Over the past decade or so, I've certainly created hundreds of little fictional sims, and I have to say, I've loved them all.  I created them, micromanaged their little lives, married them off, got them jobs, sent them on vacation, made them have baby sims, watched the little baby sims grow up.  And I loved them all.  Some more than others, of course. [1]  And I'm sure they would love me too, if they knew I existed.  And if they were real.

God is the same way.  Only backwards.  I'm real, but my sims aren't.  God isn't real, but I am.  And if God were real, he would love his microbes as much as I love my sims. 

It makes a lot of sense.   If you don't think about it very much. 
 1. Sort of like God and Abraham.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2013, 04:47:27 PM »
Sorry if this whole thing looks like a big quote..


Quote
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith. 
Quote
THIS is the part I object to - many of us have stated quite clearly how we came to be atheists, yet you continue to dismiss OUR explanations about how we drew our conclusions, in favor of your own.

I'm sorry if anything I said indicated I was dismissing any explanation you may have given.  I don't see it and it was entirely unintentional.  But when I see high emotion and drama (as I see in how vigorously some people attack the people they disagree with) I see pain, that I why I assume, apparently wrongly that people have been hurt.  -lpa


Quote
I believe you when you indicate that IRLTM you are a decent, compassionate person who tries hard to "live and let live". What I don't quite know how to reconcile is your persistent belief that we don't know our own lives.

Edited for punctuation error

Again, I don't see where I indicated any any way that anyone doesn't know their own life.  Generally I stay out of serious conversations and surf around and make jokes since some people tend to become very easily offended and attack every comment that comes from someone whose beliefs or lack of them doesn't coincide with theirs.  Also I suck at inserting comments into quotes. I fricken give up.  -lpa
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 04:52:05 PM by LoriPinkAngel »
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2013, 04:59:30 PM »
God wants us to believe in Him

If he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable.

You know, like science is. To a lot of us, anyway.

If he is real, and you believe in him, jb, then he is partially successful. But if he is real and I don't believe in him, then he's doing a pretty lousy job of being a deity. I'm not dead set against gods or anything, I just don't see even one iota of evidence that even just kinda, sorta hints that maybe, just maybe, he might be at least a little tiny bit real.

There are many religions, many writings, many variations, many excuses, but none combine their various tidbits of information into a story that I can accept, or even just suspect might be true. None of the old stories (and that's all we've got, documentation-wise) match with the reality I live in, and hence I reject them carte blanche.

Yep, if he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable. The stories of his glory, etc. need to match reality and experience. For everyone. Or else, as you can see, some of us are going to remain mighty suspicious of the whole thing.

If I'm wrong about being an atheist, it is some gods fault, not mine.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline HAL

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #61 on: April 11, 2013, 05:06:30 PM »
If he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable.

Genius!

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2013, 05:08:03 PM »
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I can't speak for the others, but I want to you to know that it is possible to be an atheist without being a victim of some horrid theist or by suffering religion in any other uncomfortable way. I have never been hurt by a religious person (if you don't count the ordained minister who stole five grand from me, but I'd been an atheist for over 35 years at that point). And I never felt unfulfilled by faith, whatever that means. I was told there was a god when I was young, I believed it, then I got old enough to give it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that all religion is bunk. There was nothing traumatic about it. That was in 1962, and I've never looked back or suffered emotionally because of it.

Just wanted to give you some comfort in knowing that not all of us are mental cases.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2013, 05:08:32 PM »
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I think you'd find that most of the members here who used to be theists would not attribute their deconversion to anything even close to that.  What you will find is that they were enlightened by pursuit of truth and learning to think critically.  But don't take my word for it (though that is the case for me), ask around.  I recall a few past threads discussing that very topic.

I am not normal in that way.  My pursuit of truth allows for acceptance of the unknown.  I am sort of a morphing of a critical thinker (which is necessary for my profession as a nurse) and a throwback to the hippies (which helps my caring nature survive in an unkind world.)  I guess I am semi-tolerated around here because I am pretty tolerant myself, generally intelligent and usually fun.  I compartmentalize areas where logic fails if I have to to preserve the amount of sanity I need to function.  I works for me in it's own way...
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2013, 05:12:34 PM »
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I can't speak for the others, but I want to you to know that it is possible to be an atheist without being a victim of some horrid theist or by suffering religion in any other uncomfortable way. I have never been hurt by a religious person (if you don't count the ordained minister who stole five grand from me, but I'd been an atheist for over 35 years at that point). And I never felt unfulfilled by faith, whatever that means. I was told there was a god when I was young, I believed it, then I got old enough to give it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that all religion is bunk. There was nothing traumatic about it. That was in 1962, and I've never looked back or suffered emotionally because of it.

Just wanted to give you some comfort in knowing that not all of us are mental cases.

Good for you.  Many in no way means all.  Being hurt does not make one a mental case.  I was told there was a Santa Claus when I was young.  I believed it, then Ricky Nelson (not the famous one) said it was a lie.  I asked my parents.  They confirmed it.  I ceased to believe.  I was a little bummed for a while.  But I didn't seek out everyone who still believed and call them idiots and try to trash their belief as some do.  I realize the huge difference in seriousness between Santa and God.  I'm just sayin'...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 05:18:36 PM by LoriPinkAngel »
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2013, 05:41:12 PM »
LoriPinkAngel, I'm responding to post #59 here rather than carry the messy quoting along, ok?

This - I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith - is a misrepresentation of our often-stated position.

The point I was trying to make is that when you speak on behalf of atheists here, by making statements like that, you could do us the courtesy of at least sticking to what actual atheists here have said. Claiming that "I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith" is rather dismissive of our repeated assertion that we've reach our conclusion due to a lack of empirical evidence. You are a nurse, and thus educated as appropriate about matters of science - you know what empirical evidence means.

You self-identify as "the resident flaky, doubtful theist", which leads me to think of you as a "regular" - you don't post a lot, and neither do I, but we both hang out here, and read. So you know you are presenting an opinion that is in conflict with what we have repeatedly said ourselves. You're certainly entitled to your opinion, and even to share it publicly, just like I'm entitled to call you out on it if I think it's wrong.

FTR, I don't think you're just tolerated here; in fact, I rather like you, insofar as one can "like" stranger on the internet. You express your doubts and opinions, you engage in conversation and I can't recall you ever threatening anyone here with eternal damnation. I sincerely hope you stick around and keep participating, whether you join us in our disbelief or not. But I think it's reasonable to expect that if you are going to speak on our behalf you'll do so in a manner consistent with what we've said. You ARE familiar with it, if for no other reason that your ongoing exposure to it.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2013, 07:32:29 PM »
Wait, Lori isnt atheist

hmmm.....

Anyways, I cant say that I was ever "hurt" by anyone in the church. Many of the kids I grew up with in the church are my good friends today. I still like the adults that were there to oversee me grow up. I do however, feel disappointed, because I think some of them had to know they were lying to kids, which I find deplorable. But I cant point to anyone and say that they hurt me.

I think something theist have a difficult time with is that the bible has some truly horrendous teachings, and because we (atheists) arent trying to justify a belief in it, we see no need to ignore those ugly verses. And when someone in real life lives like or carries out those very clear instructions in the bible, we likely see it as someone actually adhering to the book which they claim to believe in.

Furthermore it is unclear to me why, since christians already disregard most of the book, why they just dont admit it and make up their own thing without all the evil stuff.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2013, 08:32:39 PM »
I was told there was a Santa Claus when I was young.  I believed it, then Ricky Nelson (not the famous one) said it was a lie.  I asked my parents.  They confirmed it.  I ceased to believe. ...

How do you think you would have dealt with it if one or both of your parents had reacted by telling you that your new position on the matter meant you were earning eternal hellfire for yourself?

How would it make you feel about Santa-believers if others throughout your life re-iterated that opinion?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Online JeffPT

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #68 on: April 11, 2013, 08:45:44 PM »
I was told there was a Santa Claus when I was young.  I believed it, then Ricky Nelson (not the famous one) said it was a lie.  I asked my parents.  They confirmed it.  I ceased to believe.  I was a little bummed for a while.  But I didn't seek out everyone who still believed and call them idiots and try to trash their belief as some do.  I realize the huge difference in seriousness between Santa and God.  I'm just sayin'...

It's actually a lot less serious than you think.  If that had happened with God instead of Santa Claus, you would have stopped believing in God too. 

Just think about it.  The main reason you stopped believing in Santa Claus was because a few people you trusted told you that it wasn't true.  Then, later on in your life, you didn't run into people who told you Santa Claus was real.  Easy.  Imagine if God was the same way.  Imagine that at an early age, another child came up to you and said God isn't real.  You go to your parents and they confirm it.  It's over right there.  But in reality your parents DON'T confirm it.  They DENY it.  And you keep on believing because you trusted your parents implicitly not to lie to you, and later on, you were surrounded by adults who continued to believe that God was real as well. 

What if it played out that way with your father and mothers generation?  With their father and mother?  What if that same scenario played out for generations before you?  Would that not explain exactly the way things are today?  Millions of believers still pushing the same idiocy, 2000+ years later because so few people realized that mom and dad don't know everything?     

Why is there an uptick in atheism lately?  If you ask me, one reason is because of the easy access to information that everyone has on the internet now.  The internet has become Gods' Ricky Nelson, Lori.  And people are realizing that Santa and God are equally untrue.  They're getting their information from places other than mom and dad.  And that's a big blow to the theist camp. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2013, 08:47:53 PM »
Dawg,

In response to post 47, that list you displayed it has truth, it surely does. Most of that list is man made issues. Nobody wants a peaceful planet more than I do. I am trying to make the point that taking God away is not the way to peace.

I want you to know, I do get your point and I completely understand how you feel.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2013, 08:55:37 PM »
Re #66 I love the Crabman but this image doesn't ring a bell.  Please clarify.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #71 on: April 11, 2013, 08:58:31 PM »
now I am not sure exactly who your god is, June, but if he is anything like the Ot god, well, he was in favour of slavery - in multiple quotes. Even Paul has no problem with slavery in the NT. That's why the Southern States in the USA Civil War argued for slavery based on their bibles. What won out with the leaders in the north who were, pretty much to a man, deists believing in only  vague idea of a god who started the universe and went on an extended lunch break.

The fact is, June, that the idea of a god in everyone is all very well until we look harder at it. Then we see that the god each person espouses somehow always manages to agree with the person. On never finds a believer who doesn't agree with their own god. That's why, in the Civil War, the Southerners agreed with their god that slavery was OK.

Of course, if you think that this god inside everyone is something separate and apart from the person and not just an effect of their own subconscious mind, then we would need to see how you conclude this as evidence would seem to be in short supply. After all, how would a Catholic like Hitler do what he did 'with a god inside him' unless he thought he was a god, or course?

My God is The Creator, Master of the Universe. God is in us all, not everybody listens.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Online JeffPT

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #72 on: April 11, 2013, 09:06:20 PM »
Big fan of Jesus, and you will have to give me book and chapter where Jesus said this because I do not recall Jesus saying this. I know Jesus was against stoning and killing. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. I remember the story of the prostitute, the crowd around wanted to throw stones and Jesus said,"let the first man here without sin throw the first stone."

That story never happened. Jesus never actually did that.  It was a later account that was added by scribes.  Here is a quote from the book "Forged" by Bart Ehrman to back up what I'm saying, why he says it, and why so many scholars agree with it.  Page 268 to 269.

Quote
This is the account in which Jesus delivers one of his most famous sayings: “Let the one without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” The story, however, is not found in the oldest manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Moreover, the writing style (in the Greek) is significantly different from the writing style of the rest of the Gospel. In addition, the story breaks the flow of the narrative of John 7–8, where it is found. In other words, if you take the story out of John, the context makes much better sense, as the story immediately before the account flows better directly into the story immediately after it. For these and numerous other reasons there is virtually no debate among New Testament scholars that this story, as wonderful, powerful, and influential as it is, was not originally part of the New Testament.  It was added by a scribe.

Sorry to burst your bubble.  This is why it's important to study this stuff. 

My God is The Creator, Master of the Universe. God is in us all, not everybody listens.

You're just stating this as if it's a fact.  I'm now going to counter your statement with an equal amount of evidence.

No, he's not Junebug.  Your God isn't real.  It's not there.  He's not the master of the universe and he's not inside everyone. 

There, has that moved the conversation forward?  No, it hasn't.  You can't just say it and expect people to accept it.  You have to face the fact that your statement is either one that's true, or one that's false, and in the absence of your ability to prove it's true, and given the infinite number of things that we can claim about the universe with no evidence, and the very few things that are ACTUALLY true, it's vastly more likely that you're just wrong. 


Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #73 on: April 12, 2013, 03:36:36 AM »
God wants us to believe in Him,

Do you have kids? Do you want them to know who you are?

And here is a big problem.  You assert that your god wants us to believe in him - I'm presuming that your meaning here is "accept that he exists", rather than "believe without any evidence", because of your previous assertion that you have all the evidence you need.

So okay then.  Your god wants us all to accept he exists.  Well, there are many, many ways that could have been accomplished.

1) Ensure that all religious texts, throughout history, carried the same message about the same god.  (On that subject, I'd be interested to hear how your "research" of multiple faiths - some of which portray multiple deities, some of which proclaim theirs is the only one - led you to believe they were all talking about a single one.  But perhaps that is for another thread.

2) He could answer when he is called.  Not in a "give me this, help me with that", but in a "here I am, let's talk" kind of way.  You know....the way if your kid called you, you would answer directly and immediately, because you love them.

3) He could have made a world where his existence is as obvious as the existence of the earth beneath our feet.  We can touch it, smell it, taste it (ick!)....pick it up, throw it around, build things form it.  Earth is THERE, undeniably.  Your god isn't.

That's just a couple, off the top of my head.  If your god really wants us all to believe, he is doing an appaling job of showing it.

I have kids.  I want them to know who I am.  So I am a direct and obviosu presence in their lives.  Yet I've seen your god as often as I have seen Reginald Warburton.  Who's he?  I have no idea, because he's never done anything to give me the slightest idea he exists.  If he was my father, then he has done NOTHING to show me that - exactly like your alleged god.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online Graybeard

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2013, 05:48:52 AM »
I am trying to make the point that taking God away is not the way to peace.
But neither is it the way to war. In fact, whether there is a god or not, makes no difference whether good or bad things are done. We can say from this that God adds nothing to an equation - He may as well not be there.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2013, 07:11:56 AM »

We're not talking about children.  Children are little versions of us that will eventually grow into mature versions of us.  We are not children of yhwh.  We will never grow into gods. 

yhwh is the alpha and the omega.  The omnipotent creator of the universe. 
Perfect. 
Eternal. 
Unchanging. 

yhwh manufactured you.  You are its product.  We are less complicated to it than a bicycle is to us.  Comparing people to bateria does not even come close to describing how much greater yhwh is than us. It is completely alien to us and our understanding. 

To say that you are the offspring of that entity is hubris in the extreme.

So please, answer my questions rather than ask one you like better.



edit: that --> than

I could never truly identify your scenario with mankind's relationship to God. As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world. My conscience tells me it was a necessity. Kind of like the cycle of life on a bigger scale. My intellect is no comparison to God's. I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love, God is empathetic to our struggles, but we must fix this mess ourselves! Instead of using so much time to hate, try loving your enemy, understanding him,make him your friend and come together to achieve a common goal; WORLD PEACE!

When I use the terms child/children I do not mean it in the literal human term. It is to me however, the best way to describe our relationship to our Creator.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #76 on: April 12, 2013, 07:17:07 AM »
Sorry, June, but I still don't understand where you got this knowledge from about your god. if there is a god she is very quiet and fails to contact or appear to anyone so I really don't know how you can know anything about her..
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #77 on: April 12, 2013, 07:20:02 AM »
As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world. My conscience tells me it was a necessity.

That can't be it.  An omniscient and omnipotent being cannot "need", or even want, to do anything.  By definition, it would be complete in and of itself.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #78 on: April 12, 2013, 07:35:56 AM »
As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world.

What evidence do you have?

My conscience tells me it was a necessity.

What evidence do you have?

I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love,

What evidence do you have?

God is empathetic to our struggles

What evidence do you have?

Perhaps, like the Red Queen, you find it easy to believe six impossible things before breakfast.  Most of us here, however, like to see some kind of evidence before making a decision.

Is there ANY evidence you have, for ANY of your beliefs, that you can share?  That would not equally be valid as "evidence" for any god I may choose to make-up out of my own imagination?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline screwtape

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #79 on: April 12, 2013, 07:47:41 AM »
I could never truly identify your scenario with mankind's relationship to God.

Then you have an incoherent view of god.  You said god was "The Creator" and the "Master of the Universe".  It is not our father, and we are not its children, as you like to think.  If it were so, then it could not be the creator or master of the universe. These are mutually exclusive ideas.

My conscience tells me it was a necessity.

That's not your conscience.  Your conscience is a metaphorical "sense" that describes how our understanding of morality and feelings of guilt guide our behaviors.  So it was your imagination telling you it was a necessity.  Unfortunately, fantasy is not fact.  I wish it were.  I'd be a Jedi.

I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love,

yeah, yeah yeah.  That is because of your particular life experiences.  I am trying to get you to understand that a god that is so big and awesome and powerful is unlikely to even notice us or think any more of us than it does mosquitos.  Thus the questions I asked three posts ago, which you have completely ignored.

God is empathetic... WORLD PEACE!

I get the feeling I am not partcipating in a conversation here.  You quote my post and then write whatever is on your mind, no matter how disconnected from the words I wrote.

It is to me however, the best way to describe our relationship to our Creator.

Yeah, metaphors.  I know.  I pointed out how terrible a metaphor it is.  I explained in detail why it does not work.  We are not in any way like children of god.  There is no reason to think a god would love us like its children.  Except conceit.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #80 on: April 12, 2013, 07:58:04 AM »
Dawg,

In response to post 47, that list you displayed it has truth, it surely does. Most of that list is man made issues. Nobody wants a peaceful planet more than I do. I am trying to make the point that taking God away is not the way to peace.

I want you to know, I do get your point and I completely understand how you feel.
So a few things:
1) Well, what about that list of non-man-made issues like floods and earthquakes?  Does that simply not deserve any sort of response?
2) Even in regards to man made issues: what's the deal there?  Is god powerless to prevent war?  Does he not want to?  Is god powerless to prevent a mugging?  Does he not want to?  Is god powerless to prevent a rape?  Does he not want to?  If someone were about to be raped before your very eyes; if you had the ability to stop it - would you bear any responsibility if you did not stop it and it happened?  Would you describe yourself as 'loving'?  Would others describe you as 'loving'?
d) While flattering, I do not think I would have the power or ability to take god away if s/he/it were real.  I'm not trying to take god away, I do not think that god exists.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #81 on: April 12, 2013, 09:21:51 AM »

Matthew 5:17-20
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.



This sounds like he's saying that the old testament laws are still valid.

Even pushing this aside, there's still the idea that god and Jesus are one and the same (at least for those that follows the idea of the trinity).  So when god commanded those death penalty laws in the old testaments, it was really Jesus making those commands.

Oh yes, the sermon on the mount. Thanks for the reference. We are both aware that most scripture is interpreted according to the reader. First of all Jesus had to chose His words wisely as to not bring on His death before the Passover. The scribes and pharisees were constantly asking Him tricky questions to try and slip Him up. By telling the multitude to be more righteous than the pharisee not only in their teaching, but by example as well, He is denouncing the "OLD WAYS."  The message of forgiveness, do unto others as you would have done unto you; these are all attempts to change the 'old' ways. Af far as Jesus and God being one, I believe they are, how else could He have found the courage to give His life so easily so that others may live.

The "Ten Commandments" are God's laws. Don't see anything there so bad, and If mankind actually followed them, the World would be at peace.

1.Thou shalt have no other God before me.
2.Thou shalt not worship idols.
3.Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.
4.Honor the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy
5.Honor thy Father and Mother
6.Thou shalt not Kill
7.No adultery
8.No stealing
9.No lying
10.Do not covet

I see nothing harmful here at all. Moses goes on to distort God's Commandments, which I believe is the "real" reason Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land. That is if this story is true. This story was my first indication that the Bible had man's footprint all over it. No way would an intelligent , powerful God make such obvious contradictions.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline penfold

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2013, 09:26:06 AM »
As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world. My conscience tells me it was a necessity. Kind of like the cycle of life on a bigger scale. My intellect is no comparison to God's. I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love, God is empathetic to our struggles, but we must fix this mess ourselves! Instead of using so much time to hate, try loving your enemy, understanding him,make him your friend and come together to achieve a common goal; WORLD PEACE!

When I use the terms child/children I do not mean it in the literal human term. It is to me however, the best way to describe our relationship to our Creator.

Hi Junebug

I have been following this thread with interest. Incidentally I agree with your initial premise, that believing in God is not a bad thing (in itself, at any rate); and certainly the impression I get is that your brand of Christianity is a healthy one. It seems that it has allowed you to overcome struggle and grief in your own life; you seem to have a sense that Jesus’ message is about reaching out to others in love regardless of who they are. However there are a couple of points that I would add from the perspective of someone who does not have faith in God.

Firstly it seems to me, from my own experience, and the experiences of others, that healthy-mindedness and happiness are not exclusive to Christians. There are many people, I would include myself, who find happiness and are able to take life seriously without belief in God. While you have not stated it explicitly you seem to hold an assumption that somehow because belief in God ‘fixed’ you, so it will for everyone else. I would suggest that the evidence is against you here; it seems to me that a person’s attitude to the complex questions raised by their existence can be positive or negative whether they are religious or not. Just because you require God does not mean we all do.

Secondly you also seem to be offering arguments for why a belief in God is reasonable; you have mentioned necessity of belief in an intelligent creator to explain existence.

Quote
I do not feel like my faith is wishful thinking. It is something I have developed over many years of studying and contemplating. It is not some rash decision made during the grieving process. My faith was already starting to mature by the time I lost my parents. I believe in God because I believe it took intelligence to have such a complex planet.

Here we strongly part ways. I have no wish to offend, you come across as a good person, but I find this notion that the only explanation for the apparent design of the universe is an intelligent being breathtakingly arrogant. The universe and our existence is the deepest and most fascinating question we can ask, and your assertion that there is an obvious answer (based as it is upon ancient text and the received wisdom of a largely ignorant age) represents a serious failure of imagination.

Peace etc...
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2013, 09:31:33 AM »
The "Ten Commandments" are God's laws. Don't see anything there so bad, and If mankind actually followed them, the World would be at peace.

1.Thou shalt have no other God before me.
2.Thou shalt not worship idols.
3.Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.
4.Honor the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy

5.Honor thy Father and Mother
6.Thou shalt not Kill
7.No adultery
8.No stealing
9.No lying
10.Do not covet

...

I disagree. The first 4 commandments promote conflict if the whole of mankind does not adhere to one particular flavour of deity.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2013, 09:34:45 AM »
June,

Actually, you have missed a few commandments out from your list. The Torah (the first 5 books of the bible) has 613 commandments. It includes ones relating to sacrifice which cannot be followed as there is no temple if Jerusalem. However, there are still plenty after that. One cannot pick and choose which of the commandments to follow and which to ignore. Equally valid commandments, followed by Jesus in his lifetime, where all the various festivals during the year including, of course, Pesach which he is said to have partaken in as his last meal on earth.

Then again, there are rules and regulations about keeping slaves - you are careful not to beats yours to death aren't you? No? You don't have any slave? Why not, the whole bible supports keeping slaves and some of the commandments relate to just. How do you pick out 10 from the total and then decide that, say, the rules relating to slavery are wrong?

Then again, do you like pork and bacon? the Ot bans then altogether as well as shellfish and a variety of other possible food sources. of course Jesus, whilst confirming that all the commandments are still valid still managed to say that eating banned food was OK.

Things are getting confusing at this point but I would love to know why you only pick 10 of the 613 commandments to tell us about.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #85 on: April 12, 2013, 09:53:35 AM »
What is this god inside? What is it made of? Is it just one god in everyone, or a different one in each person? How do you know it is inside everyone? (It may be only inside some people, but not 2-year old children,  people who never heard of god, people who don't believe in god, people who are severely developmentally disabled, people in comas, people with dementia, mass murdering sociopaths.) 
 
Where exactly is the god inside? In the brain? Somewhere else? 

When exactly does god get inside us? At conception? At implantation? When the fetus has a heartbeat? At birth? Sometime later? Or was god always "there" floating around the sperm and egg?

When the person dies, where does the god inside go?

How would you possibly test this idea? If you can't test or prove this, what is your belief based on?

You have get at least this far-- establishing that clearly there is a supernatural being inside each and every human and this is how we can tell.  Then you have to explain how you understand the nature of the god inside-- good, knowable, eternal, powerful, or whatever.

And it has to be more than "because I think so."

How is what you are saying here different from WINC?

Those are some very challenging questions No..  I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion, on the human spirit.  When the human spirit is nurtured, good things happen, when it is used and abused they do not. Does the body not release the spirit when it passes. I know it does, I have felt it. I'm sure you believe that it was some chemicals from my brain, and who's to say that's not possible, I'm aware that it is, I would just have to believe that was part of God's design. 

I'm not trying to say I believe God's physical form lives inside, but rather His spirit, which does stay with us after death. I'm much too humble to think I could prove anything to you. All I have is my testimony, my story, and I know I would not have come this far had it not been for the Grace of God.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #86 on: April 12, 2013, 10:06:34 AM »
Dear Junebug, you cannot convince someone who does not want to believe to believe.  As the resident flaky, doubtful theist, I am here not to convert, but to coexist.  When I express my views it is for exhibition, not out of any expectation that anyone will change their minds.  This is not a site where people come looking for God.   I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.  I care very deeply for people in general and try to show it through my actions.  I feel that is the main thing Jesus teaches me.  But if I stop believing in Him tomorrow I will still be a caring person.

Hi Pink,

Thanks for the wise words. I just came to share my story;give God some credit. To show an unbeliever that not all believers are hateful and judgemental. That's all.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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