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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: christianperson on September 15, 2011, 02:31:46 PM

Title: Why I am here
Post by: christianperson on September 15, 2011, 02:31:46 PM
 Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution. The crisis lasted a couple of years off and on. I am secure in that area now and reasonably educated. I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect). In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.
In spiritual nature, I am cut and dry. I will either accept and understand the bible/God through this process or I will dismiss it and just keep the values "I like" as another on this site already put. That is where I feel a little theoretical kinship with atheists. You seem to understand the bible is explicit and filled withs radical indigestible content. As a christian it is very easy to overlook such things though many have done a good job at answering tough questions for me in the past.

It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.

Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: fungusdrool on September 15, 2011, 02:38:17 PM
It must take a lot of guts to come on here and open up that that.  Good for you.
I hope you shed your faith.  Really it causes only harm for you and the world.
Good luck.  Keep thinking.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Nick on September 15, 2011, 03:20:21 PM
Sounds to me like you are in transition.  Rational thought is so much better.  Maybe someday you will understand.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: jetson on September 15, 2011, 08:40:52 PM
You post is full of non-starters and presumptions - you have no reason to assume that you will be treated badly.  May I suggest you get in on some of the conversations, and maybe start a new thread asking something specific.  Get to know the regular members, and see where it leads.  Most of the members are reasonable, and would not attack you for no reason at all.  If you are willing to ask questions, and consider other points of view, you will learn more about atheists on this forum than you might imagine.

If you are truly seeking a better understanding of our world, and how it works, the one thing you will need to get used to is that non-believers would much rather admit that they do not have an answer, than make one up.  And anyone who claims knowledge of a supreme being like a god, is making it up.  And even if they happen to guess right, that there is actually a god, there is literally no way to objectively show it, therefore, it remains non-existent.

EDIT for typos!
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: rickymooston on September 15, 2011, 08:50:26 PM
In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.

why angry? An odd emotion to feel about a God who promises another world; i.e., if you truly believe in this God, your focus is in the next world.

I don't believe in him but I'm just saying.

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  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.

Well, atheists won't help you defend the faith. I've listend to William Lane Craig and find most of his arguments pretty unconvincing. Unaware of anybody better.

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In spiritual nature, I am cut and dry. I will either accept and understand the bible/God through this process or I will dismiss it and just keep the values "I like" as another on this site already put. That is where I feel a little theoretical kinship with atheists. You seem to understand the bible is explicit and filled withs radical indigestible content. As a christian it is very easy to overlook such things though many have done a good job at answering tough questions for me in the past.

It sounds suspiciously like you already disbelieve?  ;)


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It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

Intelligent believers generally don't believe in a literal bible.

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I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.

 It doesn't sound like you are very prepared in this respect.  The tea pot is the best anti-bible claim
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: mrbiscoop on September 15, 2011, 09:31:19 PM
Time to come out of the closet.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: JeffPT on September 15, 2011, 09:44:52 PM
It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes.

Here is your first problem.  Claiming a literal bible is tantamount to intellectual suicide.  You need to learn the history of the bible.  Who wrote it, how we know who wrote it, how many problems there are with it, etc.  I suggest reading some Bart Ehrman.  You will learn some stuff in there that might make belief in a literal bible pretty much impossible.

But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest.

The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

Given the amount of evidence in support of them, I don't see how anyone in their right mind could say it is more likely that they actually happened.

I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time.

OK.  But remember, when you postulate an all powerful, supreme being who can literally do anything, then anything we say can be countered with something that the all powerful, supreme being can do without a second thought.  If you are going to presuppose that it exists, then the discussion is over before it starts.  You have to start with the neutral position..." Does God exist?" and work from there.   All we can provide you is with reasonable doubt for the existence of the God character of the bible.  Fortunately, it's a landslide of reasonable doubt.  A tidal wave of reasonable doubt.  A galactic collision of reasonable doubt. But it will never be more than that.  Just like all we can provide you is reasonable doubt for the existence of Zeus or Thor too.  The case against the God of the bible is equally as strong as the case against a multitude of other fictional characters. 

Note: If you really are curious, then let your responses reflect an understanding of the arguments we are presenting, and make sure if you are going to refute them, that you do so with as much evidence as you can provide.  For example, if you are going to refute number 2, below, by simply saying "yes we do have the originals", then please present a link or some evidence that you have them. 

1. We don't know who wrote the gospels.  No idea.  This fact brings serious doubt into the validity of the claims written within.  In fact, many of the books in the NT were not written by who they are normally believed to have been written by. 
2. We have no original copies of the bible in any form.  What we have are copies of copies of copies of copies written and translated by people with poor skills, and with personal agendas.  The copies we do have, when compared with one another, have more discrepancies than there are words in the entire New Testament. 
3. The Gospels were written (at the earliest) 40 years after the death of Jesus, and John was supposedly written in the early second century. 
4. The 4 gospels tell different versions of a verbally passed down story about a man named Jesus.   If you read them horizontally (passage for passage) you will see that the Jesus character is very different from book to book. 
5. The prophecies in the OT are said to have been fulfilled in the NT, but just think about it... if you had the OT in your hands, and you wanted the Jesus character to look like the messiah, yet still remain somewhat true to his real life story that was being passed around, how hard would i t be for you to make up a story in which Jesus fulfilled a bunch of the prophecies?  Not hard at all.  And considering it wasn't written down for 40 years after he died, who would be alive to refute the actions he supposedly did?  Nobody.
6.  There is no extra-biblical evidence for the occurrences of any of the miracles performed by Jesus. In fact, a very strong case can be made that Jesus never existed even as a person. 
7.  There is no evidence of a resurrection.

That scratches the surface of the biblical stuff.   

I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.

Anger and hate do not change the validity of an argument.  They just spice it up :) 

I don't know why, but part of me wonders if you are a very secure-in-your-beliefs Christian trying to bait people into taking up this argument with you.  I don't mind that at all, and quite honestly, if this is the case, you don't need to bait people here into arguing with you about biblical literalism.  You will get lots of people coming at you either way.  I hope that part of me is wrong though, and that you really are here to learn something from us. 

God isn't real christianperson.  It's alright to say it.  It's alright to think it.  It's alright to live it. 


Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Astreja on September 15, 2011, 10:35:33 PM
Christianperson, it's within the realm of possibility that there are one or more gods or god-like beings out there somewhere who are willing to engage you, mentor you and generally help you make the most of your life.  It doesn't necessarily have to be the god described in the Bible, either; in fact, I consider Biblegod to be a somewhat unlikely implementation of godhood.

If I could only say one thing to you, it would be this:  Trust in the basic goodness of your god-concept, and accept no substitutes.  A god that would create a hell or drown a planet is simply not good enough to be your god.

And even if it turns out that there are no gods at all[1], there is ample power in the god-archetype to inspire for a lifetime.

Best of luck with your quest.
 1. Including Me!
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: The Wannabe on September 15, 2011, 10:47:42 PM
In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him. 


Being a christian through most of my teens, i can relate to this.  See, the thing is, if you try to extrapolate the "radical indigestible" claims of the bible onto reality, you're going to end up angry and confused.  Sadly, I see my dad deal with this almost daily.

The text in this holy book is full of promises and descriptions that supposedly originate from some sovereign deity.  Radical concepts that should immediately arouse suspicion such as the eternal soul, heaven and hell, unconditional election, and original sin are tossed around willy nilly.  If you continue to try and live your life in accordance with this Christian dogma, and the bible in general, you are going to be one frustrated individual.  Christians are widely regarded as hypocritical because they preach these lofty biblical platitudes, yet don't live their life accordingly.  Why is this the case?  Because you'd have to be bat shit crazy to live a life similar to that of the utterly ignorant bronze age Israelite, especially in this enlightened day and age. 

It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

 Well, what do you think?  Do you believe that these miracles where actually performed or not?   I, for one, don't have enough *faith* to believe in any of them.

I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.

If you want to learn, you're in the right place.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy traversing the frenzied intellectual battlefield that is WWGHA, just try not to step on any ill-logic-mines   ;D



Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: christianperson on September 16, 2011, 01:06:19 AM
WOW! I am overwhelmed! Very thought provoking and kind responses. Lots of stuff to digest here. Honestly I probably need to read good anti-God book, and for that matter more old testament. Not all of these anti-bible claims are brand new to me but I clearly understand where disbelief happens. I just do not have the time to address all of you because it seems many of you have differing beliefs. If you don't believe Jesus was God, or that he was right that is one thing. Saying he did not exist is another. If I was in a prison cell great, but whipping out all the references that convinced me Jesus existed would prevent serious play time with family.

My sore spots with God? Hell for one, and explicit verses about how prayer yields results with enough faith is another. I know the Christian answers. But if God said "if you have enough faith it will happen" then it should happen right? I wish the bible would say "if you have your plans in line with Mine I can make anything happen". It would make sense to me then. Maybe faith means something differently than believing 100%. Perhaps its time for a hebrew dictionary as well. There is my confusion.

That said I have been petrified by what I believe God communicating to me his presence of love. And No I am not the Christian that takes anti-biotics and and claims it was a miracle healing.

Are my beliefs in Christ pretty strong still? Yes. There are questions I am struggling with and It frustrates me. Characters in the bible doubted at times too. So unlike Some Christians I feel this doubting can lead to stronger faith.  Feel free to recommend more books. The God Delusion perhaps?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Brakeman on September 16, 2011, 05:51:48 AM
If god is there and he cares, why won't he talk to you?  Why wouldn't god answer a prayer for perfect understanding of his bible. Why would god not want perfect communication with his creation?

Christianity is a mean lie. It's not funny to make up stories and have others believe in it and depend on it.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: rickymooston on September 16, 2011, 06:36:56 AM
whipping out all the references that convinced me Jesus existed would prevent serious play time with family.

The case for the existence of a historical person exists but it is somewhat circumstancial. For the record, I think the historical guy probably existed.

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My sore spots with God? Hell for one

Ok.

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, and explicit verses about how prayer yields results with enough faith is another. I know the Christian answers. But if God said "if you have enough faith it will happen" then it should happen right?

Careful reading of the verses saying this in context, wouldn't yield that interpretation. The God of the New Testament was believed in by people who were being stoned, crucified, burned alive and fed to the lions.

If the verses means they could get what they want; the faith would have died with the stoning of Stepen.



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I wish the bible would say "if you have your plans in line with Mine I can make anything happen". It would make sense to me then.

What kind of plans for their lives did the New Testament Christians have? "I want to grow up to be lunch for a big fat lion"?

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Maybe faith means something differently than believing 100%. Perhaps its time for a hebrew dictionary as well. There is my confusion.

That said I have been petrified by what I believe God communicating to me his presence of love. And No I am not the Christian that takes anti-biotics and and claims it was a miracle healing.

Ok.
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Are my beliefs in Christ pretty strong still? Yes. There are questions I am struggling with and It frustrates me. Characters in the bible doubted at times too. So unlike Some Christians I feel this doubting can lead to stronger faith.  Feel free to recommend more books. The God Delusion perhaps?


They don't sound strong; your life focus sounds like its grounded very much in this world?  ;)
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: naemhni on September 16, 2011, 09:09:08 AM
Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution.

I'm an atheist myself and will admit that I would like to see you become one as well, but to be fair, belief in Yahweh does not require rejecting biological evolution.  Many Christians accept both.

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I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect).

Well, I can just about guarantee that you've come to the right place.   :D

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In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys

No, it isn't, but I actually find it encouraging.  If you find fault with Yahweh, it's probably an indication that you're examining your beliefs more frankly than more "hardcore" believers.

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It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes.

It must be pretty inconvenient, to say the least.

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But instead of calling half of it figurative like some.

Right, we like to call that "having the Magic Decoder Ring".  The believer chooses what's literal and what isn't, according to what he likes.

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I would just rather be an athiest.

If you stay and continue to engage us, there's a good chance that will happen.  Be aware, though, that it can be a time-consuming process.  There's a lot to look at, and it's an emotional process as much as an intellectual one.  Or at least, so I understand.  I'm one of the fortunate few who's never been a believer at all, so I never experienced the anguish that so many report regarding the conversion process.

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The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

Again, to be fair, it's also theoretically possible that some of them did and others didn't.  We do know, as certainly as is possible, in any event, that some of them definitely did not.

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I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time.

OK, good deal.

Welcome to WWGHA.  I hope you find your stay here educational and helpful.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: mrbiscoop on September 16, 2011, 09:18:23 AM
While The God Delusion is a fabulous book, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists might be better for you at this point in your life. http://www.amazon.com/Godless-Evangelical-Preacher-Americas-Atheists/dp/1569756775/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316183158&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: velkyn on September 16, 2011, 11:17:45 AM
Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution. The crisis lasted a couple of years off and on. I am secure in that area now and reasonably educated. I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect). In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.
I was confused and angry with Christians when I was a Christian (Presbyterian variety).  I decided then to go direcly to the big guy.  When I found nothing, I realized that Christianity, and after a little more looking, all religions were nonsense. It’s okay to feel the way you do.  You have been tricked by people you’ve trusted. 
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In spiritual nature, I am cut and dry. I will either accept and understand the bible/God through this process or I will dismiss it and just keep the values "I like" as another on this site already put. That is where I feel a little theoretical kinship with atheists. You seem to understand the bible is explicit and filled withs radical indigestible content. As a christian it is very easy to overlook such things though many have done a good job at answering tough questions for me in the past.
One doesn’t need a magical deity to have good values.  Assuming you already have them, you don’t have far to go to just get rid of a primitive deity that does nothing.
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It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.
I do think that some of theh bible is figurative.  However, all of the important parts are declared literal and there is simply no evidence for any of them.  No miracles, no flood, no JC son of god or god himself come to earth, no accurate prophecies, etc.  If you think these are literally and can be supported, you are wrong. But you are welcome to try to support your claims.  I’d also recommend that you read the mail bag section of this forum to see how we handle various claims.
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I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.
 
I’ll warn you now, your attempt to declare what you will and what you wont answer by your vague definition is a warning flag to most here.  This means you could intend on ignoring anything you don’t like by declaring it “hateful” or not “adult” just as a way to avoid a hard question.  You’ll get nailed on that in an instant.  You also need to know that claiming that you don’t have time  to answer isn’t a very good way to avoid hard questions either.  I do understand that everyone has a real life outside of this but far too many theists claim to have all of the answers and then when they are demonstrated not to, they run away with sad little Parthian shots.  If you want to limit the number of questions you’ll be asked, you should ask for a “debate room” and pick out one or a few people that can participate so you don’t get overwhelmed. 

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If you don't believe Jesus was God, or that he was right that is one thing. Saying he did not exist is another.
Did Jesus Chrsit son of God exist or did a itinerant rabbi exist that had stories built up about him?  Those are two very different characters.

Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: theczar on September 16, 2011, 12:36:07 PM
I am certainly reading between the lines, and guessing a bit to the true nature of your current standing on God/Christianity, but just thought I'd chime in.

The best advice I can give you is to look at the Bible, God, and Christianity objectively. Try to shed the notion that "God must exist" or "the Bible is true" and approach it as you would any claim or story. For some people (me included) fear will begin to creep in as your near (or consider) the revelation that God does not exist, the Bible is errant in many ways, and we are all alone on this Earth with no special significance. I believe this is one of the main things that hold so many Christians back from really seeking their true feelings.

We can still live meaningful lives without the promise of an afterlife. We can strive to be successful, have a family, and help other people without belief in God. I am happier now than I ever was before (as a Christian) because I don't feel constant conflict between what I want to do and what the Bible says is "right". I feel more compassion for others than I ever have in my life, I feel now that nothing is more important than protecting the rights or happiness of other humans...because I truly believe this life is ALL WE HAVE.

It seems you have a very positive attitude right now, just continue to search. Don't feel like you need to make a decision today, tomorrow, or a year from now. Just don't allow the inner fear of no life after death, no meaning, I'm all alone, and other things to keep you from the truth.

Best of luck in your search friend.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: velkyn on September 16, 2011, 12:42:35 PM
welcome to the forum, theczar. 
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: fungusdrool on September 16, 2011, 01:03:37 PM
We can still live meaningful lives without the promise of an afterlife.

I'd argue that we can lead vastly more meaningful lives without the promise of an afterlife.
Urgency is a powerful motivator.  Why expend effort and possibly screw up your opportunity to get into heaven if all you have to do is sit back and die?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: theczar on September 16, 2011, 01:25:01 PM
welcome to the forum, theczar.

Thanks  :)

Been reading on here for awhile, and finally decided to stop lurking and sign up!
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: flapdoodle64 on September 16, 2011, 02:10:45 PM
@ the OP:

The fact that you find yourself in doubt speaks volumes about Biblegod. 

The fact that he created you with the ability to doubt suggests that he is like a cosmic Monty Hall, giving you clues that are best ambiguous, and forcing you to choose between Door #1, #2, or #3...under the condition that you will spend eternity with whatever is behind that door.  What I mean is, Door #1 might represent Christianity, #2 Islam, #3 Judaism, #4 Hinduism, etc.  Only 1 door being correct, and the other doors leading to Hell. 

This is an omnipotent god that creates infinity smaller and weaker beings (us) and forces us to spend our lives playing Holy Head Games with him. 

Heck, he might have even created you with the intent that you would become an atheist, so as to be free of the nagging feelings of fear and guilt that accompany belief in a giant invisible CIA agent. 
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Petey on September 16, 2011, 02:33:51 PM
Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution. The crisis lasted a couple of years off and on. I am secure in that area now and reasonably educated. I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect). In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.

Just a few thoughts on this paragraph.

1. Losing faith is not actually a loss.  :)
2. In much the same way, having doubts is not a crisis.  It's perfectly natural.
3. There's no need to capitalize the word atheist, just as you don't capitalize theist.

I wouldn't recommend starting your "anti-god" reading with The God Delusion.  It can be fairly harsh coming in from the believer point of view.  I would strongly suggest starting with 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God (http://www.amazon.com/Reasons-People-Give-Believing-God/dp/1591025672).  And you can check out this thread (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,5033.0.html) for more suggestions.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: christianperson on September 16, 2011, 05:35:10 PM
Thank you everybody. I will be temporarily leaving this forum for a while to study, and question things. Why leave then? Well.... I have much to think about and chew on and I lack the focus not to get sidetracked on other irr-relevent topics regarding my faith struggle rampant on this forum. I am not here to evangelize.
I feel it is best to read a good book or two by an atheist author.I Have noted your recommendations as well.   I also clearly need to understand the bible more, and better interpret the verses within context. Maybe I need to join a Bible forum too;).

Here is my plan.
1.Read Anti God stuff with as open mind as possible.
2.Read bible in same manner.
3.Pray (though I have my skeptical feelings about prayer in regards to healing, I still get chills down my back about times I believe he answered regarding my spiritual direction).
4.When stumped ask questions from experts in both viewpoints. .

Thanks again you were insightful, kind, and very thorough. Great forum. Time to go book shopping now.

Best regards

 
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 16, 2011, 05:49:04 PM
 CP is the stuff you are reading really "anti-God"? or is it just pointing out the ridiculousness of a God without any factual confirmation that one can exist?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Ambassador Pony on September 16, 2011, 06:39:30 PM
Study the history of religion. Also, you need to read the bible at the same time as you read other literary works of the time. I recommend Herodotus' Histories. Just amazing.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Ivellios on September 17, 2011, 07:44:37 PM

I'd argue that we can lead vastly more meaningful lives without the promise of an afterlife.
Urgency is a powerful motivator.  Why expend effort and possibly screw up your opportunity to get into heaven if all you have to do is sit back and die?

Or as said in Battlestar Galactica: "The very fact that you DO die, is what GIVES your life meaning."  A Cylon speaking to humans, and in opposition to Resurrection.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Jeff7 on September 18, 2011, 01:53:13 AM
Thank you everybody. I will be temporarily leaving this forum for a while to study, and question things. Why leave then? Well.... I have much to think about and chew on and I lack the focus not to get sidetracked on other irr-relevent topics regarding my faith struggle rampant on this forum. I am not here to evangelize.
I feel it is best to read a good book or two by an atheist author.I Have noted your recommendations as well.   I also clearly need to understand the bible more, and better interpret the verses within context. Maybe I need to join a Bible forum too;).

Here is my plan.
1.Read Anti God stuff with as open mind as possible.
2.Read bible in same manner.
3.Pray (though I have my skeptical feelings about prayer in regards to healing, I still get chills down my back about times I believe he answered regarding my spiritual direction).
4.When stumped ask questions from experts in both viewpoints. .

Thanks again you were insightful, kind, and very thorough. Great forum. Time to go book shopping now.

Best regards

I say this in all sincerity: best of luck to you. If you're serious about this exploring of your doubts - and it seems you are - it's likely going to be a difficult and emotional process. The best advice has already been given at this point: do everything in your power to realize your own possible bias and stay objective. Examine everything as many times as it takes, and try and push past the fear of "losing God" - it'll happen, or not, at the end of your search one way or another, so go at it full force. Find more than one voice/source on a subject - as well as the opposite side - and also make certain you check the validity of your research. (also, I'll second the whole bit about history/history of religion: despite becoming a nonbeliever, as someone who already studies history, my study of religious history has gotten me pretty fascinated into the stuff!)

At the end, it doesn't come down to your family, your friends, or even "your" "God" (..if you believe in free will, anyways! ;)) - but you. You're the one that ultimately has to take a long hard look and decide in what you do or do not believe. (I suggest, even if you don't post/much, to stick around, though!)
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: omniweasel on September 18, 2011, 11:11:24 AM
Quote
In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.

 So was Moses and look what he became. be it atheism or new faith i hope you find what you're looking for. you seem like a nice person. as most of us can probably tell you the biggest argument against the validity of the bible was the bible itself. try reading it all the way through, not just verse by verse.. although you can skip the line from adam. all that living and begating gets really tiresome fast.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Ivellios on September 18, 2011, 07:31:17 PM
Yeah, and the "Best Story Teller in the world" will put you to sleep in Leviticus.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: jetson on September 18, 2011, 07:49:02 PM
Yeah, and the "Best Story Teller in the world" will put you to sleep in Leviticus.

Nah, the second half of Joshua will put you in a coma.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Jeff7 on September 18, 2011, 09:15:20 PM
Numbers, man. Numbers.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: esx93 on September 18, 2011, 10:44:11 PM
I'm having a faith crisis myself. I'm so consumed by the delusion of religion that it's taking a toll on my life. It's horrible. I'm desperately trying to find peace with myself but that seems to be impossible...
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: natlegend on September 19, 2011, 03:11:32 AM
Esx93, can you pinpoint the moment when you first started to question your faith? What happened?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: EV on September 19, 2011, 04:34:55 AM
I'm having a faith crisis myself. I'm so consumed by the delusion of religion that it's taking a toll on my life. It's horrible. I'm desperately trying to find peace with myself but that seems to be impossible...

You don't need to worry about religion to find peace within yourself.

I'm a musician, and when I am in turmoil (i.e. whenever I am desperately behind on my work :P ) I go and play my Viola or the Piano, and then I end up feeling as you say 'at peace', that familiar warm fuzzy feeling of God, in the same way I used to get when I was at synagogue, praising God. I am an atheist now, and enjoy life much more not being constrained to the fallacies of religion.

God can be regarded as a psychological concept, in the end it has the same effect as playing music. You pour your emotions into it and it lets it all out.

Personally, I find music to be much easier to live with on a day to day basis than an all powerful daddy in the sky controlling my movement.

My advice would be to look objectively and remove your emotions from the equation.

Also, same question as Natlegend :D

Esx93, can you pinpoint the moment when you first started to question your faith? What happened?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Omen on September 19, 2011, 12:05:09 PM
About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution.

Can you be more specific?

What would you say to an atheist that would point out that evolution being true or not, has nothing to do with the notion of a generic god existing or not?

Quote
In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.

This is confusing.  Can you be more specific?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: gonegolfing on September 19, 2011, 12:28:52 PM
Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution. The crisis lasted a couple of years off and on. I am secure in that area now and reasonably educated. I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect). In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.
In spiritual nature, I am cut and dry. I will either accept and understand the bible/God through this process or I will dismiss it and just keep the values "I like" as another on this site already put. That is where I feel a little theoretical kinship with atheists. You seem to understand the bible is explicit and filled withs radical indigestible content. As a christian it is very easy to overlook such things though many have done a good job at answering tough questions for me in the past.

It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.

One of the greatest things I ever decided to do, was to start with reality and then work my way back through the god hypothesis with rational thinking and scientific knowledge and understanding as my support and guides.

This is the only truly intellectually honest way to test the god idea, as it first and foremost removes the god exists assumption and the question begging that comes with it. This way you've been honest, and instead of beginning with the assumption that a god exists and then trying to prove that he does not, you've correctly started with the fact that you see no hard evidence that a god does exist and then search for evidence to verify that it does. You work your way back looking for solid evidence somewhere along the line that will justify the hypothetical claim.

Good Luck. I couldn't find any. As well, words and text from a failed ancient book of historical fiction and misguided explanations of reality, do not count as evidence to prove the existence of a personal, loving, and intervening god in this the 21st. century.

You must look closely at reality and listen intently to science and then look for a connection that would unite the facts as we know them with the claims of the hypothesis to confirm its truth. Again, I could find no connection and the god hypothesis failed.

We've watched the god of the bible go from an in your face personal god showing himself to every Tom Dick and Harry, to a god of the few gaps that are left and so deeply shrouded in mystery that it's become an absurdity. Where did god go ? He has been handed over to science by religion and they've run away in embarrassment:-- better to turn yourself in and hope for the best than to be hunted down and outright executed  ;)

Being atheist is no biggie. I have no feelings whatsoever about being an atheist. That title comes with being god belief free. However, the title rationalist ? Now there's a title that one can be proud of ! ;)

Cheers
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Aceluffy on September 20, 2011, 12:40:59 PM
Personally, I think the best part of the bible is Exodus. So many villages and people slaughtered in the name of g-o-d that it will make quite a good movie.

Imagine all the slaughtering by Moses' elite soldier executed in slow motion ala 300
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Ivellios on September 20, 2011, 01:49:42 PM
I thought that wasn't till they got to the "Promised Land" so, Joshua. After the drowning of Pharoh's army, they were just allegedly wondering in circles for 40 years. That they started the Gencide kick with Jerhico(sp).
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: YY on September 22, 2011, 01:15:42 AM
Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution. The crisis lasted a couple of years off and on. I am secure in that area now and reasonably educated. I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect). In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.
In spiritual nature, I am cut and dry. I will either accept and understand the bible/God through this process or I will dismiss it and just keep the values "I like" as another on this site already put. That is where I feel a little theoretical kinship with atheists. You seem to understand the bible is explicit and filled withs radical indigestible content. As a christian it is very easy to overlook such things though many have done a good job at answering tough questions for me in the past.

It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.

Hi Christianperson. Good luck in your search. I'm just wondering why there is only Christian or atheist? Have you tried looking at other religions?

I think the bottom line is to do whatever makes you feel most comfortable with this life you've been given, whether it be by God, Allah, the Universe, your mom, stardust or whatever. You've got to find meaning in the way that makes the most sense to YOU. I think that's the reason for the thousands of different religions, it's what makes sense to the followers. Then, there's cross-denominational places of worship. So many to choose from.

I'd recommend you finding something that inspires and empowers you. I was raised Catholic and have left that far behind. I don't respond to guilt and damnation, but rather empowerment and inspiration. If atheism is what gives that to you, then have at it. But, it would be disappointing to give up on ALL religion if you haven't even tasted the other flavors and you're having a fight with this God that you've been taught should act one way but turns out to be another. Beware of religions that say they know what God is thinking!

Best wishes on your travels.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: YY on September 22, 2011, 01:21:29 AM
Time to come out of the closet.

Nothing against gays, but atheists should really pick a different term.

Wipe the slate?

Control Z?

Get your A back (a-theist)?
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: natlegend on September 22, 2011, 02:09:30 AM
Time to come out of the closet.

Nothing against gays, but atheists should really pick a different term.


Why? You're premoting an 'us and them' mentality. Uncool.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: fishjie on September 22, 2011, 02:11:27 AM
come out the closet is fitting.   gays risk being ostracized by friends and family who are deeply religious.

so do atheists.   
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: bertatberts on September 22, 2011, 02:19:09 AM
Time to come out of the closet.

Nothing against gays, but atheists should really pick a different term.

Wipe the slate?

Control Z?

Get your A back (a-theist)?
Revert to the norm.
I don't like the term deconvert, because theists are indoctrinated/inculcated from birth, they were never converted in the first place. they manage to deprogramme themselves.  So Revert to normality, is best for me. or simply Revert.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Vivisectus on September 22, 2011, 05:42:00 AM
Its been about time to re-examine my faith. About a decade ago I almost lost my belief in God because of evolution. The crisis lasted a couple of years off and on. I am secure in that area now and reasonably educated. I need your help exposing other fallacies in my thinking(e.g. hell,false promises,ect). In my relationship with God now I am confused and angry with him.  I  know this not a great testimony to convert you gals/guys but that is not why I am here. If there are flaws that I cannot get past I will eventually be an Atheist, I assume.
In spiritual nature, I am cut and dry. I will either accept and understand the bible/God through this process or I will dismiss it and just keep the values "I like" as another on this site already put. That is where I feel a little theoretical kinship with atheists. You seem to understand the bible is explicit and filled withs radical indigestible content. As a christian it is very easy to overlook such things though many have done a good job at answering tough questions for me in the past.

It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

I am a learner right now and do not have the time to refute every one of your anti-bible claims. Hit me with your best stuff and remember some of my statements will sound pointed, but I genuinely feel curios at this time. I do not hate you,I do not bash on you around other christians, and some of my favorite friends/professors are atheists.
I will not respond to non-adult level discussion. If you just want "hate debate" find somebody else.

Heya ChristianPerson!

If you require the bible to be literally true to be a Christian, then you have already answered your own question, I think. That is just not possible. People don't live in giant fishes for days. The flood is not possible. The Ark is impossible to build - a guy tried to a while ago, and was forced to scale it down and create a steel base for it, as otherwise it would collapse under it's own weight. Plants were not created before the sun was. Etc. etc. etc.

You cannot even consider the bible an authority on the Christian tradition, as it is made up of the writings of people who followed many different traditions. Much of the OT is a hodge-podge of bronze-age henotheism and the several Jewish religious traditions that grew out of it. The Jahwe of the OT is but one god among many, a savage god for a savage time, and he doesn't even always come out on top in contests with other gods!

The NT is just as much a mix: if some of the authors were alive today they would be horrified to find out that they have been lumped together with the very people they were fomenting against! (the lying pens of scribes!). Biblical infallibility is a relatively recent idea, and for a good reason. Some parts of it would be called forgeries by modern people - several of the Pauline Epistles are widely accepted to have been written much later by a different author, even though in the Bible they are represented as Paul's work!

What people tend to think of as the messages of the Bible are really modern traditions of how the Bible is to be interpreted, a tradition that takes contemporary values and tries to somehow project these onto ancient texts, texts that were written by people who did not share these values.

If you are really interested in what the Bible actually says, then I suggest looking into modern academic bible scholarship. It is a fascinating field.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: velkyn on September 22, 2011, 10:58:32 AM
I'd recommend you finding something that inspires and empowers you. I was raised Catholic and have left that far behind. I don't respond to guilt and damnation, but rather empowerment and inspiration. If atheism is what gives that to you, then have at it. But, it would be disappointing to give up on ALL religion if you haven't even tasted the other flavors and you're having a fight with this God that you've been taught should act one way but turns out to be another. Beware of religions that say they know what God is thinking!
The classic claims of a theist who has created their own religion in their image.   It'd also be nice if *any* religion actually could support the claims they make.  It's all woo and nonsense. 


EDIT: it'd also be nice if theists would actually answer questions put to them rather than running away and coming back months later as if nothing ever happened: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19301.261.html 
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Grimm on September 22, 2011, 11:34:38 AM
I see two folks that are having crises of faith - let me offer you both an idea.

Can you prove to me that the God of your faith has more evidence for his or her existence than Voldemort, from Harry Potter - or, for that matter, Harry Potter?

This isn't as facetious a question as it sounds - we KNOW Harry Potter and Voldemort aren't real.  We can talk to the author, we were here when the books were written.  But - given just the evidence in the books - can you show me more evidence for the existence of your god than exists for these literary characters?

That's all any atheist wants, really.  That's all anybody wants - a reasonable set of evidence.  If you can't, then you need to go back and just ask yourself the question "why do you believe what you believe?"  Do you have good reason, or is it just a legacy of your upbringing? 

Those reasons, those points you'll raise, are the reasons you believe in spite of (or perhaps because of!) the lack of evidence I suspect you'll find.  Are they, in turn, valid? 

I don't post often these days, but I do hope that's some sort of help.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: YY on September 22, 2011, 12:55:34 PM
Time to come out of the closet.

Nothing against gays, but atheists should really pick a different term.


Why? You're premoting an 'us and them' mentality. Uncool.

Total projection on my statement. Atheists should pick a different term because that one has already been used. Infringement. Do you think gays want to be associated with atheists? Some maybe, but if not all, atheists should pick a different term.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: YY on September 22, 2011, 01:00:41 PM
The classic claims of a theist who has created their own religion in their image.   It'd also be nice if *any* religion actually could support the claims they make.  It's all woo and nonsense. 

EDIT: it'd also be nice if theists would actually answer questions put to them rather than running away and coming back months later as if nothing ever happened: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19301.261.html

Stll spreading the hate Velkyn?

I'm so sorry that I cannot park here and put all of my life's duties aside to answer questions to your liking. Life happens. When I attend to life's matters and leave the board, there will be unanswered questions. You can claim I'm running if that makes your ego feel better.

Please start another thread and list the questions you'd like me to answer. There were probably many unanswered questions in that thread and I don't feel like going through it in its entirety to figure out which one(s) weren't to your liking.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Truth OT on September 22, 2011, 02:30:52 PM
I see two folks that are having crises of faith - let me offer you both an idea.

Can you prove to me that the God of your faith has more evidence for his or her existence than Voldemort, from Harry Potter - or, for that matter, Harry Potter?

This isn't as facetious a question as it sounds - we KNOW Harry Potter and Voldemort aren't real.  We can talk to the author, we were here when the books were written.  But - given just the evidence in the books - can you show me more evidence for the existence of your god than exists for these literary characters?

That's all any atheist wants, really.  That's all anybody wants - a reasonable set of evidence.  If you can't, then you need to go back and just ask yourself the question "why do you believe what you believe?"  Do you have good reason, or is it just a legacy of your upbringing? 

Those reasons, those points you'll raise, are the reasons you believe in spite of (or perhaps because of!) the lack of evidence I suspect you'll find.  Are they, in turn, valid? 

I don't post often these days, but I do hope that's some sort of help.

What you ask is definitely not asking too much and is a very reasonable request. Truth be told, the evidence that exists for the God of the books that make up the Bible as being real is miniscule and pretty subjective. I know of no means a person living today could employ to prove God's existence, not a single way, despite the fact that I badly wish there was such a way.

So it would appear that me, and all others who believe (hope) as I do are in the same boat as the guy in his basement that believes Miss Universe wants him because a guy from Miss Universe's home town that claims he knew her who's story was a bit sketchy wrote a book claiming that Miss Universe dreamed of being with a guy with the same initials as the guy in the basement. It may be true, but it sure is a longshot.

The evidence that the texts provide cannot be relied upon to substantiate our faith in God, all it is able to do is give enough for the believer to hold out hope.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: JeffPT on September 22, 2011, 03:38:42 PM
Just give it up already Truth OT.  Half the people who come to this website have been where you are.  You know too much.  You're too smart.  From what I've seen of your posting, I really think you've gone past the point of no return.  It's a matter of time. 

This is not a criticism.  It's a wonderful thing.  Embrace it. 
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: The Wannabe on September 22, 2011, 03:46:22 PM
Just give it up already Truth OT.  Half the people who come to this website have been where you are.  You know too much.  You're too smart.  From what I've seen of your posting, I really think you've gone past the point of no return.  It's a matter of time. 

This is not a criticism.  It's a wonderful thing.  Embrace it.

I concur.  Unless you have a good reason to continue living a lie, it seems like it's time to let go of christianity and the guilt that is intrinsic to its dogma.

Jump on in TOT, the water's fine.  :)
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Chronos on September 23, 2011, 05:49:00 AM
It is not fun claiming a literal bible sometimes. But instead of calling half of it figurative like some. I would just rather be an athiest. The miracles of the bible either did or didn't happen.

If you think the bible is the literal word of god, but you find that a passage/declaration/teaching is untrue, why do you continue to believe any of it? Why do you have to have each/every/multiple aspects of the bible torn down by the rest of us for you to disbelieve? It sounds like the bible is a debate game and you are just going to go with the team that wins more points by the time the buzzer sounds.

Have I misunderstood what you want?

Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Anfauglir on September 23, 2011, 06:50:26 AM

it'd also be nice if theists would actually answer questions put to them rather than running away and coming back months later as if nothing ever happened: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19301.261.html
I'm so sorry that I cannot park here and put all of my life's duties aside to answer questions to your liking. Life happens. When I attend to life's matters and leave the board, there will be unanswered questions. You can claim I'm running if that makes your ego feel better.

Please start another thread and list the questions you'd like me to answer. There were probably many unanswered questions in that thread and I don't feel like going through it in its entirety to figure out which one(s) weren't to your liking.

Ah, it's THAT YY. 

I don't think there is any need for a new thread, YY.  There are direct questions from myself and from globalvalue on the very last page of the thread (that Velkyn helpfully linked to) that you could simply answer.....if you so chose.  I give my "mod-okay" to you resurrecting it to answer those questions. 

If you choose.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: velkyn on September 23, 2011, 09:20:50 AM
The classic claims of a theist who has created their own religion in their image.   It'd also be nice if *any* religion actually could support the claims they make.  It's all woo and nonsense. 

EDIT: it'd also be nice if theists would actually answer questions put to them rather than running away and coming back months later as if nothing ever happened: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19301.261.html
Stll spreading the hate Velkyn?
Nope, no hate at all. To hate someone on the internet is rather silly, especially when there are so many like you.  Just noting your actions.  The usual ones of a theists who can't answer questions and then runs away.   One doesn't have to hate to notice just how people act.  I will admit that it is rather fun to point out how such people who claim that they are so good because of their religion act no better than anyone else and often far worse.
Quote
I'm so sorry that I cannot park here and put all of my life's duties aside to answer questions to your liking. Life happens. When I attend to life's matters and leave the board, there will be unanswered questions. You can claim I'm running if that makes your ego feel better.
Nice strawman but it fails.  I am asking you to answer questions you've left hanging, and alas for you, no, attending life's matters doesn't mean that you simply *must* never ever answer questions left for you to answer.   Why don't you do that?  They're still there waiting.
Quote
Please start another thread and list the questions you'd like me to answer. There were probably many unanswered questions in that thread and I don't feel like going through it in its entirety to figure out which one(s) weren't to your liking.
I see that Aunfauglir isn't adverse to you just answering his last questions in the old thread.  However, it if is indeed so difficult for you, let me know and I'll give you the remedial version.  I am also amused at your rather pathetic little excuse since, YY, you can just find the last post that you didn't respond to on that thread.   I suppose I should feel a bit sorry for you in that you are unable to find something so simple.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: natlegend on September 23, 2011, 05:31:22 PM
Time to come out of the closet.

Nothing against gays, but atheists should really pick a different term.


Crap, does that mean the monster in my closet could be HOMOSEXUAL AS WELL???
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: lotanddaughters on September 23, 2011, 09:56:50 PM
What you ask is definitely not asking too much and is a very reasonable request. Truth be told, the evidence that exists for the God of the books that make up the Bible as being real is miniscule and pretty subjective. I know of no means a person living today could employ to prove God's existence, not a single way, despite the fact that I badly wish there was such a way.

So it would appear that me, and all others who believe (hope) as I do are in the same boat as the guy in his basement that believes Miss Universe wants him because a guy from Miss Universe's home town that claims he knew her who's story was a bit sketchy wrote a book claiming that Miss Universe dreamed of being with a guy with the same initials as the guy in the basement. It may be true, but it sure is a longshot.

Remember:

There are people who not only hope but "know" that their god exists. Just think about the devout Muslims who took flight classes and carried out their plan to fly planes into buildings, thus violently ending their lives for their bullshit god. This is the fucked up reality of bullshit beliefs. This barbaric bullshit is not much different than Leviticus minus the gradual Enlightenment.

The truth is evident. The Bible was written by primitive, ruthless men, and you can learn way more stuff by visiting whywontgodhealamputees.com than you could ever learn by attending any Goddamn church where you suckle the cum out of the preacher's cock.
Title: Re: Why I am here
Post by: Grimm on September 28, 2011, 11:20:21 AM
What you ask is definitely not asking too much and is a very reasonable request. Truth be told, the evidence that exists for the God of the books that make up the Bible as being real is miniscule and pretty subjective. I know of no means a person living today could employ to prove God's existence, not a single way, despite the fact that I badly wish there was such a way.

So it would appear that me, and all others who believe (hope) as I do are in the same boat as the guy in his basement that believes Miss Universe wants him because a guy from Miss Universe's home town that claims he knew her who's story was a bit sketchy wrote a book claiming that Miss Universe dreamed of being with a guy with the same initials as the guy in the basement. It may be true, but it sure is a longshot.

The evidence that the texts provide cannot be relied upon to substantiate our faith in God, all it is able to do is give enough for the believer to hold out hope.

*nods*  This precise thought was what led me away from my own faith.  There were certainly other items, but that's the biggest.

Just.. be careful of 'hope'.  There's nothing at all wrong with hope - hope leads us to believe that the world can be better than it is, and I certainly do believe that myself.  Placing your hope, however, is.. valuable.  Faith in a higher being is one of those things where misplaced hope results in lost time, guilt, suffering, and other negative effects that are the direct result of following a path, as faith is, that is devoted to the service of another being with specific, stated needs.  It is possible - in fact easy - to be good without God, but it is incredibly difficult to lead a fulfilling, full existence when saddled with the insistence on an afterlife and appeasing the deity to achieve it.

Be good.  Help others.  Live each day as though you want the next to be better, and act to improve it yourself - these are good things.  I simply found that walking away from faith was as liberating as breaking up with a horrid ex-girlfriend.

Comfortable doesn't always mean best.