Why do you believe?

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
youjustcomplain
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by youjustcomplain »

Ka-El wrote:Any constraints imposed on science have been created by man (eg. known laws of physics). There is a great deal that science is still trying to explain, and even more it has not yet discovered. Physicists and mathematicians are still working on Eisenstein’s theories. There is still so much we do not know.

Right, of course they are. The point was that if science is to be held to that standard, why do believers feel that their god hypothesis can be explained away with gaps. One carries all of the burden of proof, and the other gets defaulted in for some reason.

This is partly the reason for the thread. Why do people believe was my question which I worded very broadly as to capture as much belief as I could. I'm not just talking about a god, or about big bangs.. I'm really trying to figure out why people choose to believe one thing over another. :)


Ka-El wrote:It is completely your choice in what to believe and how to pursue understanding (assuming seeking greater understanding is even your choice). However, you should understand there is a great difference between religion (the tenets of which you have described) and spirituality. While the concepts can overlap, they are neither mutually exclusive nor mutually inclusive.

Again though, the topic is why do you believe. I am not suggesting god. For some arguments, I will propose a god, but that's not just what I'm talking about. I'm quite aware that religion, god and spirituality are all very different things. I actually know more people who are spiritual than believe in god. Those people seem to feel like there is more to life than we understand and have some very different feelings from me based on their experiences, who just like you, they can't explain. That's fine with me. I'm always left wondering why they believe what they do.

Why do some people believe that seeing a lady bug means that it's the spirit of their grandmother watching over them. People believe this sort of thing; you may be one of them. I don't know, and I'm not judging anyone for thinking differently than I do. I just wonder why.
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Ka-El
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Re: Why do you believe?

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youjustcomplain wrote: People believe this sort of thing; you may be one of them. I don't know, and I'm not judging anyone for thinking differently than I do. I just wonder why.

Fair question I suppose, but not one that I would be prepared to answer, and then defend, on an anonymous discussion board. Not accusing you but I have already been there and done that. I personally believe that a person’s search for spiritual growth/enlightenment, or for conscious contact with God, or the choice not to engage in any such search is very personal - and usually (I suspect) the result of a number of incidents or events. I do know that to see or experience the reasons for belief one has to be open to having those experiences. I personally see no conflict with science in any of this. Belief in something beyond our understanding that we can call God - for lack of a better term - does not, in itself, contradict belief in science. In fact, the more science we know, the more we know what we don’t know and still have left to discover.
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youjustcomplain
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Re: Why do you believe?

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Ka-El wrote:Fair question I suppose, but not one that I would be prepared to answer, and then defend, on an anonymous discussion board. Not accusing you but I have already been there and done that. I personally believe that a person’s search for spiritual growth/enlightenment, or for conscious contact with God, or the choice not to engage in any such search is very personal - and usually (I suspect) the result of a number of incidents or events. I do know that to see or experience the reasons for belief one has to be open to having those experiences. I personally see no conflict with science in any of this. Belief in something beyond our understanding that we can call God - for lack of a better term - does not, in itself, contradict belief in science. In fact, the more science we know, the more we know what we don’t know and still have left to discover.


Fair enough. You don't want to explain why you believe. I guess part of my ignorance on this topic is that I don't understand why or what part of this is so personal. It's not personal to me. :)

And you're right. Many might attack you for your beliefs. I'm sure I've been guilty of it here and there, though it's not my intent. I'm actually just curious of the "why" question. I hope nobody ever feels attacked by my questions; challenged maybe, but I do recognize that most people with faith, don't have any desire to defend those beliefs.
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Ka-El
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by Ka-El »

I can assure you I do not feel attacked by your questioning as I sense some sincerity coming through in your posts. I would also, for the most part, agree with your assumption that most people with faith don't have any desire to defend those beliefs, but would qualify that suggestion by specifying we are talking about people who are secure enough in their faith not to feel the need to defend it. I can only speak for myself, but I am confident there are many who just believe and accept that the quest for spiritual consciousness (or not) is both a personal choice and a personal matter.

To be clear, I am not talking about belief in some bearded old guy with white hair living in the clouds, or in some book credited to Him but written by men, and I will gladly counter any argument that contradicts what we know from science. My reasons for believing (in something quite far beyond my understanding, but not beyond having a connection with) are complicated and multifaceted and come from a lifetime (I’m 60 years old) of learning, questioning, and challenging myself, and from profound experiences I have had that I would not diminish by having them attacked on an anonymous discussion board. Sharing these experiences is something I would only do with people who are very close to me. I suppose that is the personal part.
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Re: Why do you believe?

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I suppose, given your rather narrow parameters for what constitutes "God", that I do not believe. However I am open to the possibility that there is an as yet undiscovered/undefined unifying force at work in the universe. As Ka-El implies, our knowledge of the workings of the universe is still woefully incomplete.

Perhaps more "enlightening" would be to answer just what it is that you don't believe in. Traditional "God" concepts have been losing ground for decades.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
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Re: Why do you believe?

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I'm of the same mind that if there is a "creator", they would undoubtedly have zero in common with the Judeo-Christian model. It's why I live life by pretty simple rules such as; treat others as I'd like to be treated and avoid being taken advantage of by a religion that would rather profit off my search for spirituality, than offer any true form of enlightenment.
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youjustcomplain
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by youjustcomplain »

fluffy wrote:I suppose, given your rather narrow parameters for what constitutes "God", that I do not believe. However I am open to the possibility that there is an as yet undiscovered/undefined unifying force at work in the universe. As Ka-El implies, our knowledge of the workings of the universe is still woefully incomplete.

Perhaps more "enlightening" would be to answer just what it is that you don't believe in. Traditional "God" concepts have been losing ground for decades.


If the question is posed for me, I'll answer it. Actually, if it wasn't posed to me, I won't know until I've answered it... so.. lol

I truly don't have a narrow definition of god. The bearded guy sitting on a cloud eating cream cheese is the one that always enters my mind when people talk about god, but it's just the imagine that makes me giggle to myself. :) I've spoken to many people about what god is to them. Some have told me it was the inner voice we all hear. Some say they actively communicate with god. Some are directed by god. Some believe he's the puppet master in control of everything we do, and others believe he created us and has stayed out of things since. With so many very different ideas of what god is to people, I'm left feeling like maybe, just maybe, god exists in our minds to comfort us. I, for one, don't find any comfort in a god.

What don't I believe in? Lots of things. The list is far longer than the things I do believe in. I self identify as an atheist which only means I don't believe in a god or gods. That said, for the same reasons I don't believe in god, I also don't believe in ghosts, spirits, life after death, the unique human soul, or that there is some creator that either made the big bang happen or did some other sort of event that started things in motion. I choose to not believe in something that can't be proved or disproved. Now, if I search hard enough, I might have belief in something that can't be proved or disproved, but if I figure out what that or those things are, I'll likely stop believing them. :)

I put this topic in this forum because I knew I'd get some response. I'm glad I did. And I'm also quite glad I didn't ask about belief in god specifically. I recognize that there are lots of other beliefs such as spirituality out there that I just don't understand !
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by fluffy »

There's nothing there I can disagree with, and much I can heartily support. The "inner voice" reference rings true, "God" as a metaphor for conscience. For me God is all about metaphor. The idea that there is some underlying force that binds everything together is a concept that I can get behind, but as it has yet to be identified then "God" is a metaphor for the mysteries of life. I make an effort not to attach any of the traditional God concepts to the word. The thought of some conscious presence pushing the buttons of the universe doesn't ring true, but the idea that there might be a unifying force of some sort doesn't bug me. I think the trouble starts when we try to assign human qualities to the word, qualities like consciousness and intent.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
youjustcomplain
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by youjustcomplain »

fluffy wrote:... qualities like consciousness and intent.


Yup. That was one of my earliest thoughts about god. How do we know his intent? Why is he a he? How are we to know what he wants of us? How do I know that the priest telling me how to live my life has been chatting with god?

For me, too many questions, and no answers that I find satisfying. As such, I live my live just as Poindexter does his/hers. Do unto others... (regardless of whether that phrase was coined by a person of faith in god or not).
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annexi
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by annexi »

youjustcomplain wrote:I'm curious. Why do you (those who do), believe in a god, or spirits or afterlife... Whatever your beliefs are. Why believe ?

I grew up with Anglican values as it was important to my grandmother, but I have only been to church a few times. I disliked the entire process and old guy telling me how and what to think.

I remember the day, walking home from school, where I started to question what god meant to people and what I was missing. 10 years old at the time and I certainly knew nothing about evolution, or the big bang, much less the writings of darwin. And yet, I felt confident enough to come to the likely conclusion that having faith in a god was pointless. I was 10, so realizing faith was pointless was an over simplification, to say the least.

Now, 30 years later, I still wonder why people hang on to these feelings that there is something else out there, some divine creator, or puppet master. Some all powerful being that loves us, unconditionally, but will send us somewhere very hot and painful for eternity if we don't follow his rules. What makes humans so special to deserve all this attention?

If my question offends you, please don't respond with attacks on me. I don't care to fight about the topic. But I would enjoy some engaging discourse.

I believe in something like god because I sense there is such a thing; it is something beyond what man knows, or would have us know, or what man has also sensed and tried to explain.
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Re: Why do you believe?

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annexi wrote:
youjustcomplain wrote:I'm curious. Why do you (those who do), believe in a god, or spirits or afterlife... Whatever your beliefs are. Why believe ?

I grew up with Anglican values as it was important to my grandmother, but I have only been to church a few times. I disliked the entire process and old guy telling me how and what to think.

I remember the day, walking home from school, where I started to question what god meant to people and what I was missing. 10 years old at the time and I certainly knew nothing about evolution, or the big bang, much less the writings of darwin. And yet, I felt confident enough to come to the likely conclusion that having faith in a god was pointless. I was 10, so realizing faith was pointless was an over simplification, to say the least.

Now, 30 years later, I still wonder why people hang on to these feelings that there is something else out there, some divine creator, or puppet master. Some all powerful being that loves us, unconditionally, but will send us somewhere very hot and painful for eternity if we don't follow his rules. What makes humans so special to deserve all this attention?

If my question offends you, please don't respond with attacks on me. I don't care to fight about the topic. But I would enjoy some engaging discourse.

I believe in something like god because I sense there is such a thing; it is something beyond what man knows, or would have us know, or what man has also sensed and tried to explain.


No one can define what a god is, everyone's god is based on their own imagination, hence the thousands of sects and sub sects who claim that their god is the real god.
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by 1nick »

I was a firm believer in Pastafarianism. Then one day they started letting people in the one true religion with no beards
[b]WITH NO BEARDS![/b]
Well that didn’t sit well with me so I started Pastafarianism with beards only. I’m the founding member of the Westbank branch.
Hit me up, if you have a beard that is. :hailjo:
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by capleton »

1nick wrote:I was a firm believer in Pastafarianism. Then one day they started letting people in the one true religion with no beards
WITH NO BEARDS!
Well that didn’t sit well with me so I started Pastafarianism with beards only. I’m the founding member of the Westbank branch.
Hit me up, if you have a beard that is. :hailjo:


Heretic!
1nick
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by 1nick »

A goatee is not a beard Capleton, we’ve been over this before. Grow it out proper if you want to join us.
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Re: Why do you believe?

Post by Omnitheo »

I believe in all gods equally. Hence Omni-theo

Zeus, Jehova, Quetzecotl, Arceus, Baldr, Poseidon etc. All exist.

After all, Pascal's wager suggests that if I'm wrong and don't believe in a god, I could suffer for it.

Pascal's wager is an argument that asserts that one should believe in God, even if God's existence cannot be proved or disproved through reason.

Blaise Pascal's original wager was as a fairly short paragraph in Pensées amongst several other notes that could be considered "wagers". Its argument is rooted in what has subsequently become known as game theory. The wager argues that the best course of action is to believe in God regardless of any lack of evidence, because that option gives the biggest potential gains. It can be distilled simply:

If you believe in God and God does exist, you will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven: thus an infinite gain.
If you do not believe in God and God does exist, you will be condemned to remain in hell forever: thus an infinite loss.
If you believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded: thus an insignificant loss.
If you do not believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded, but you have lived your own life: thus an insignificant gain.


Though it's a bit problematic when we get to Islam where "There is no god but Allah"...but with over 700 gods currently worshiped on earth, what's a man to do?
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