Do you belive in god?

Feel free to debate any issues you wish here. Warning: The topics discussed and their content may on occassion offend some.

Do you believe in god?

YES.
21
48%
Partificially
9
20%
Nope
14
32%
 
Total votes : 44

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:11 pm

Bladen wrote: Science and logic is my way to go and if everything come crashing down I find a new way to go.


It is possible to believe in God and to belive in science and logic. Albert Einstein belived in God.
Image
User avatar
Thirteen-thirty-seven
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5688
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:37 am
Location: Stoke-on-Trent, England

Postby Bladen » Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:56 pm

Bit by bit though if you dig the possibility of Eden is so limited, you can go through with logic and science disproving existence of many other stories.
I just don't believe and don't care, the logic and science I speak of is, Big bang, evolution and stuff like that. I tend to avoid religious arguments as I don't care that much about it, I always took a snooze in RE which I was glad off the timetable from year 9 on (for my school) it's just pretty much boring except the gory bits about murder and stuff, violent book the bible is.
User avatar
Bladen
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Tyneside

Postby parnassus » Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:02 am

The Bible combines many different 'types' of writing. Some Christians believe the story of Eden to be literal. Other Christians (me included) believe that the Bible is full of symbols. The number seven was considered by the ancient Jews to be of special mystical significance. (A lot of things that occur in the Bible happen in sevens.) So the number of days given in the Book of Genesis for the creation of the world could have a powerful symbolic, rather than literal, meaning.

With the amount of times I've said "God dammit" or taken the word "god" in vain I should of been smited and incinerated by now.


Why? What makes you think God would want to destroy you now? I believe that by taking the Lord's name in vain, you smite yourself - God doesn't have to do it. I trust wholeheartedly in the scripture that says our hearts are all hungry for God - "Deep calls out to deep." Saint Augustine expressed it like this: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him." So, if you use God's holy name inappropriately, you're only hurting your own soul - because your soul naturally wants to be part of Him, but blasphemy shuts out this possibility.

Frankly I don't care if it's wrong or right not to believe in a god, I do things my own way and believe in what ever the hell I want


It's not a question of being wrong or right. It is a question of giving love and being loved.

Does doing whatever the hell you want make you happy? Really? Do you ever get so unhappy that you feel you have to pretend to be OK, that your life is just great? So many people feel like that - and why? All because we have a tendency to believe that doing what we want will make us happy. It doesn't work like that.

it's just pretty much boring except the gory bits about murder and stuff, violent book the bible is.


The Bible tells the history of a people - the good parts and the bad. Most histories of nations contain violence, because nations are made up of people and people can get vicious. Just because the Bible describes what happened doesn't mean that it encourages violence.

Jesus spent most of His time trying to persuade people that violence against others is not a good way to go. I don't think you would find Jesus' message boring. People may find it mad, crazy, or totally unreachable - but boring, never.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Ross Millar » Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:51 pm

I like reading many psychologists thoughts about religion and faith. Personally im heading towards being a total non-beleaver.

Ideas i have read include -

- Before science and technology we could not explain why the earth was made and creatures exist so we search for the most logical reason.

- Many people are fearful of a god or symbol of authority.

- The creation of a god to create peace and order by providing concquences for actions. (10 commandments)
Ross Millar
Super Poster
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Scotland

Postby Bladen » Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:04 pm

I'm happy with beliveing what I want and doing what I want. Smite myself? If that counts as falling over stuff alot then yeah. To me God is a form of a higher entity, many religions worship higher entities or beings of existence but remember god was thought of and preached by humans. People say he is a god of veangence, others love, others say other things. People create things, these begin in the minds of man and spread to others. If people believe let them believe but that doesn't mean they cannot ever drift away or be interested in turning away from these beliefs to another thing. the thing with a religion is believe what you want or whatever floats your boat.
User avatar
Bladen
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Tyneside

Postby parnassus » Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:16 pm

People say he is a god of veangence, others love, others say other things.


Only cults claim to be able to explain God. No religion has ever tried to do it, as the finite mind can't comprehend the infinite. The ancient Jewish thinker Maimonides wrote that we can never know what God is - we can only concentrate on what He is not. Hindus (many of whom believe in only one God, contrary to media perceptions) only focus on one aspect of God at a time when they pray - they look at mercy, or compassion, or wisdom, or vengeance, or hope, or a thousand and one other different avatars. This is because no one can understand God in His full glory and it is impossible to realise fully the significance of what you do when you pray. Yet just because a Hindu person focuses on God as the fount of all wisdom before he or she takes an exam does not mean that he or she is denying the existence of God's other aspects.

As a Christian, I believe that God is love, but that all His other attributes (wrath, hope, mercy, compassion, patience, terror, etc.) fit underneath that umbrella. All of them - even vengeance - are signs of love.

This is where the idea that God was created by humans to create a sense of peace - to give us all the 'warm fuzzies' - falls down flat. Christian love is not pink and fluffy. Love may have caused Jesus to heal the sick, rescue an adulteress from being stoned to death, welcome children, and feed the starving - but it also caused Him to burn with anger against hypocrisy and disrespect (leading Him to violently rearrange the shopkeepers' possessions when they tried to turn the temple into a market). In the end, it was love that caused Him to die a bloody and brutal death. This love isn't about pink balloons and fluffy slippers. It is not about finding 'explanations' for things in the absence of logic. For believers, love is its own justification - it doesn't need a cause or an explanation.

Christians believe that we too are called to lay down our lives. Most of us will never do it literally, but we all have to do it metaphorically. For Mother Teresa this meant living in the slums of India, changing the filthy nappies of AIDS patients, wiping the vomit from their mouths, and doing it all not because she was looking for a reward or seeking to make sense of the chaos around her, but because she loved other people so much that her own life ceased to matter. This love sometimes led her to get angry, as Jesus did, with people who don't care about the plight of the poor. Her anger wasn't bitter or selfish. It was a force of energy. It carried her into the presence of world leaders and sustained her while she challenged them. If you look at a list of charities - the kind of charity that sends people to get their hands dirty in the poorest, most desperate, and often the most undeserving areas of life - you will find that most of them have a religious ethos. There's a reason for that. If people had created God out of a need to explain things logically, they wouldn't have chosen something as illogical as unconditional love to do it. If people had created God as a way to make themselves feel better about the world and give it some kind of structure, they would have created a cosmic fluffy bunny. Not someone like Jesus Christ, who turns structure upside down.

Before science and technology we could not explain why the earth was made and creatures exist so we search for the most logical reason.


Firstly, science and technology have always existed. We can't divide time into the pre-science era and the post-science era. Secondly, science and religion are not mutually exclusive. The ancient Greek philosophers spoke a lot about mythos (myth) and logos (logic). Both were equally important. Logos was concerned with rationalism and pragmatism, with things that could be divined through observation, mathematics, etc. Mythos was concerned with things that can't be quantified or analysed very easily - things like music, culture, art, and intuitive philosophical thought. The two were inextricably bound together. But in the modern world, the word 'mythos' has lost its original meaning (it started out as an early form of psychological exploration) and become a derogatory term. Mythos is now widely considered inferior to logos, when in actual fact they can't function without each other. Mythos assigns meaning to logos, but this fact has been lost on fundamentalists of both religious and scientific persuasions.

Religious fundamentalists champion mythos to the expense of logos, while scientific fundamentalists - the kind of people who treat their own brains as gods - invert the problem. Science and religion can and do cohabit. A friend of mine who studies physics once said to me, "God is the why, physics is the how." It is illogical to suggest that how can subsume why, or that acceptance of scientific thought precludes acceptance of God.

Many people are fearful of a god or symbol of authority


These people are usually atheists or religious extremists. They would prefer to believe that they are in charge and can do whatever they like.

Freedom is a word that frequently crops up in arguments against religion. A lot of people believe that if they reject belief in God they have greater liberty than people who do believe. After all, they can do whatever they want! That's freedom...isn't it?

No one is truly free to do as they like. Everyone on earth has a 'god' or even multiple gods. For some people it is money, or shopping, or television, or education. For others it is friends, or a loved one, or even a pet. Yet pets and people die, money runs out, and no matter how much you study you will never learn what Shakespeare's Polonius terms 'the most difficult lesson in the world' - to know yourself. No one is free to do what they want. Not one.

My Christianity means I often have to do things that I don't particularly enjoy. Sometimes I believe that I would be much happier if I could do anything I liked, but I know that my personal freedom is only enhanced by the fact that I am able to challenge myself (sometimes) and rise up against the word 'want' (sometimes). In losing myself, I find myself.

If anyone's got time, I suggest you watch the programme available here. It will disappear of the BBC Two website at midnight tonight (British time). It is about four very different women who go to live in a convent of strictly enclosed nuns, the Poor Clares.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Bladen » Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:40 pm

I don't fear a god's existence, I just don't really believe in it. I don't really need much reason, I just need to say I don't believe in him because I don't, when people demand I explain more then I think they're getting a bit too pissy onto me. If people stop forcing a religion, cult, belief onto others there wouldn't really be so much trouble and such a wide gap between pure blievers and Atheists, when people try to tell other people what to do or what they should not do without good reason then usually you'd turn away, right?

Well in other words if people were more free to choose a religion to follow instead of having the national religion forced on them then I'd think things would be alot more peaceful, even if half the UK turned atheist or Buddhist, there's no need to make a fuss and panic, let people believe what they like and don't try to change them. Well I got way off track there but you do see my point right?
User avatar
Bladen
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Tyneside

Postby parnassus » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:50 pm

I do see your point and I agree with most of it. But I don't think you understood what I was trying to say in my message. I wasn't advocating one particular religion over another; I was talking about theistic belief in general. This was why I mentioned a Jewish philosopher and Hindu religious thought as well as the Christian ideas with which I am most familiar. The points that I made in my message were:

1.) Science and religion aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, they're complementary;
2.) The fact that God cannot be explained in human terms doesn't mean that He doesn't exist;
and
3.) What appear to be contradicting 'gods' are in fact different facets of God. One facet does not cancel out another.

I said absolutely nothing about a 'national religion', or about other religions being wrong. I didn't even imply it. (As I drafted in Hindu and Jewish philosophy as part of my argument, I couldn't really do that.) My points are all general points, in keeping with the broad theme of this discussion, and aren't specific to Christianity.

Secondly, what 'national religion' are you talking about? As faith is very personal, there can be no such thing as a 'national religion'...but people usually use false terms like this to mean Christianity. Without fully knowing what Christianity is, they dismiss it as something boring or mindless - something for the conformists. When people hear that I am a Christian, some of them automatically assume that I must be intolerant of other faiths and out to force my religion onto them - and once they have made this decision, nothing will make them drop it. They interpret everything I do say in the light of everything they think I am going to say. Judging by your message, you've done exactly the same thing. If you want to debate on this topic, you have to address what I really write and not what you expect me to write.

let people believe what they like and don't try to change them


If someone believed that murder was good and right, I would certainly try to change them. Like it or not, we have to have some moral absolutes in society. These moral absolutes are fixed in most religions. They are summed up on the Christian card that hangs by my door:

Love much
Laugh often
And be kind

I try my best to do these things every day of my life, but I'm certainly not forcing my religion on anyone by so doing. I think it is important for the homeless people in my town have somewhere to go at night when the temperature is below zero, but a few people who write into the local newspaper's opinion page about the plight of the homeless seem not to give a damn about them. Am I a religious bigot because I work to persuade these people that it is an evil thing to leave someone in danger of freezing to death - even if that person is a drug addict or a thief? Am I a religious bigot because I refuse to let people "believe what they like" about the homeless?

If society is going to work, you can't always believe what you want or do what you like. Something has got to give, and that thing is our selfishness. This may be a religious principle, but it is also common sense.

If people stop forcing a religion, cult, belief onto others there wouldn't really be so much trouble and such a wide gap between pure blievers and Atheists


There is no such thing as a pure believer and there is no such thing as a total atheist.

I used to live in Saudi Arabia. I know what religious fanaticism can do to people, as during the last few years of my life there the Western community lived in fear of getting bombed in our homes or shot in the streets by extremists. I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of religious discrimination, so I'm now dedicated to closing that gap. The gap is usually created by misunderstanding, which gives rise to fear, which gives rise to fanaticism. The only thing that can close it is the diametric opposite to the things that create it - unconditional love. This is an absolute, and it's an absolute we need...even if it is terrifying.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Bladen » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:32 am

Even here lack of understanding leads to sudden and avoidable hatred. by "blelieve what they want" I mean religiously. Even up here people who don't believe in god are seen as stupid by some, if those who lack understanding actually try to understand atheism then there'd be less hassle. What I think is that it is within the human mind to be capable of hatred and love, these can be changed by levels of understanding, throughout history anything different from humans was seen as inferior and put aside at first thought and action and never changed, still happens today as anything different is seen as stupid by some. can't change 'em all, but letting them remain like that will cause problems.

if you have a high range of understanding and most others do then there's going to be less hassle, problem solved I would think, but may remain, if all them were solved then there would be an incarnation of "perfect" which is one other thing I don't believe in, everything can improve and deteriorate over a course of time, if it stayed "perfect" then where's the fun of improving? Even if there is a god, would you say he is perfect?

There's dozens of theories on god/s, I would say none are right but all interpretations of one person passed down to many other people who like the views, many gods in other religions are usually incarnations of one god, a specific incarnation such as "god of love" and "god of chaos". This is where religion gets interesting for me, the different types of gods, what they represented, where they originated from. All that. Some countries have a national faith/religion such as Judaism and stuff, that explains where that came from. I'm not denying anything what someone has said here, mainly just correcting some stupid mistakes I made. (lazy typer)
User avatar
Bladen
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Tyneside

Postby parnassus » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:35 am

Even here lack of understanding leads to sudden and avoidable hatred.


By 'here', do you mean this forum or the place where you live? If you mean here, I don't hate anybody. The last people I hated were the bullies at secondary school, and I don't even hate them any more.

I thoroughly agree with everything you wrote about the need for deeper understanding between people. At uni I'm the secretary of a society called the Faith Forum, which is a place where people of different religious beliefs or none at all can come to talk. Sometimes we have discussions or formal lectures from different religious leaders, but most of the time we just meet to have fun - there are bar quizzes and boat races and stuff. That really helps. It's hard not to understand someone when you've just pushed them out of the boat and they are struggling to pull you in the river with them! :wink: Religious freedom is necessary and it's good.

Judaism is an interesting one. It is not only a religion, but also a culture and a race. You get people who don't even believe in God but who still call themselves Jewish for cultural reasons. You can, at a stretch, have 'cultural' Hindus, but Judaism is really the only thing that is both a religion and a culture. Belonging to the culture doesn't mean that you accept the religion.

What you said about perfection ("What would be the fun of improving?") is again something that I agree with, at least for this life! The Arabs have a proverb that sums it up: "Too much sunshine makes a desert." We spend our whole lives improving. Lives are like journeys...but I do believe we meet perfection at the end. We find it in God. Yes, I do believe He is perfect, but I don't think that kind of perfection could ever get boring. It is so deep that there is always something new to discover.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Bladen » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:29 am

By here, I mean my town I live in, my best friend's a more reasonable atheist then me but I just don't believe, I don't say that's not possible, I just don't believe, I could of replies to this earlier if I wasn't watching guitar solos on youtube... There's never a limit of improvement or skills, the only limit is doing it and not doing it, that's what I like to think. Now back to watching solos....
User avatar
Bladen
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Tyneside

Postby Hermionefan5 » Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:57 pm

What is youtube?

Back to topic. I believe in God. That's just it. I believe. I am also a believer in evolution (which sounds contradictory, but hear me out). I think that God created the world in seven days, but I think that God created it in his time (like to God 7 days is a whole million or billion years or something). Obviously we can't say that dinosaurs never roamed the earth (Sue the Tyrannasaurus is at the Field Museum in Chicago). But we can say that maybe they only roamed it for the first day before God said that they had to evolve into things like lizards and birds before He destroyed the majority of them. Then, He decided that He wanted to make wooly mammoths and sabor toothed tigers. Soon after he changed his mind again and He decided to evolve the wooly mammoth into an elephant and the sabor toothed tiger into a normal tiger. Then He made the monkeys and apes on the next "day" and some of them evolved into humans. All of the animals and plants had to be changed so that they could stay alive on earth and God changed the ones He wanted to. Others, like dinausaurs, had to become extinct in order for other animals, like elephants or humans to survive. The dinos would have eaten us alive! I have to believe in evolution because there is evidence that an older life form existed here before us and that we are connected to apes. I also have to believe in God because He is the one who created all of this. I don't think any human or animal could have created earth and all its inhabitants. It had to have been a higher power-to me that is the Christian God. I believe that there is too much bad in this world for there not to be another, better world beyond.
Image is from "Gilmore Girls" Season 1
"You are the same as everyone else."--"Forrest Gump"
"I want you to go out there and skate for these people like I have seen you skate."--"The Cutting Edge"
User avatar
Hermionefan5
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:51 pm
Location: The United States of America :)

Postby parnassus » Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:09 pm

I am also a believer in evolution (which sounds contradictory, but hear me out).


That is not contradictory at all, Shanna - there are plenty of Christians who think in exactly the same way. Personally, I read Genesis as symbolic. It is worth noting that 'seven' was a very special number to the ancient Jews; it was considered to have mystical powers. This may be why things in the Bible so often happen in sevens - seven days to make the world, seven times round the wall of Jericho, etc.

I disagree with you, however, over your idead that God 'changed His mind' about different animals and decided to turn them into something else. God isn't like us, changing His mind every five minutes. I believe evolution may have been to God what a blueprint is to an architect - a masterplan to create something spectacular.

As for your reason to believe in Heaven - that this world is so bad that a better world surely must exist somewhere - I don't accept that either. I do agree that without bad there would be no yardstick for good, but I don't see how the existence of evil necessitates the existence of good. My reason for believing in Heaven is different.

I believe it exists in the same way that I know my house exists - it's my home, and I'm on the way to meet my Father there. The signpost to Heaven hangs on the wall of my room at university - a cross. ("Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes / Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies...") And the compass is embedded in every human heart. We are happy when everything we are and all that we do is aligned with that heaven-pointing needle. We aren't so happy when our thoughts and lives contradict what the hidden compass is telling us to do. So I believe in Heaven in the same way that a person who's just been given an alpenstock and a pair of hiking boots believes in mountains - because I've been equipped to go there.

But my main reason for believing in Heaven is because this world is full of miracles. When an Israeli man whose family members were the victims of Palestinian suicde bombers donates his kidney to a dying Palestinian neighbour, when German and British soldiers forget the horrors of World War One long enough to play football on Christmas Day, when an Auschwitz prisoner (Maximilian Kolbe) offers to be cruelly executed in another prisoner's place...why not Heaven? It is no more impossible than half the things we see on this earth.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Previous

Return to Debate Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests