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Old 03-25-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
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The Existence of God

So yes, I know that I have just returned to the forums after a leave, but since this is serious discussion and all of that, and I care for each one of you and all of that, I want to pose a question to those that believe there is no God. I am not doing this to insult you, mock your stance, make you cry or make you feel like a non-person. I am asking out of sheer curiosity. Now, the only thing I am asking is that you actually have a valid reason for this, and you do not cuss/flame me or others. The question?

Why do you not believe there is a God? What prompted you in your personal life to believe that no creator of the universe exists?

Thanks for responding!




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Old 03-25-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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I don't know, but I think there needs to be a little bit more explaining as to how the universe was created other than "and then there was light". We're also talking about infinities; universes and galaxies with planets we have not seen yet.


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Old 03-25-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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Why do you not believe there is a God?
Because I have never seen proof, or heard convincing enough arguments in favor of one.

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What prompted you in your personal life to believe that no creator of the universe exists?
Nothing promted me per say. I was brought up without belief, to the point where I didn't know what an Atheist was before befriending a Christian, and didn't learn my parents belief before becomming a teenager. I maintain this stance because I have yet to see evidence of the universe(s) being created by any diety.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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To answer this question, there's one thing I need to know, which God?
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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To answer this question, there's one thing I need to know, which God?
Any. I mean, any God. There's no leaving anything out. I'm just doing some research and figured "why not?" I have a heart for people from different backgrounds and different passions and everyone's story. I am a huge people person. I know about the people I go to church with, so what would be the point in asking them why they *do* believe? I already know their answer =P




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Old 03-25-2009, 04:10 PM   #6
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Perfect, here's my reasoning for not believing, or what should be more correctly put as -spend time- believing.

I don't believe there's any religion out there that has gotten it "right", given this, it hasn't stopped them from condemning or killing in the name of their given religion. I think humanity as a species would have much more vast accomplishments without this preoccupation with God(s).

It's weird having so many people that want some intangible thing to judge them, yet very rarely do they act in accordance with the doctrine which they stand beside.

It's not a matter of not believing, as not needing to believe.

I'd rather ask you, why should I believe in God, and given that, why should I condemn the way anyone else lives for not acting in accordance with the doctrine that I happen to stand beside.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:19 PM   #7
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I'd rather ask you, why should I believe in God, and given that, why should I condemn the way anyone else lives for not acting in accordance with the doctrine that I happen to stand beside.

Well, that is not the intent of this thread. I am simply curious. If you want to know why I believe the way I do, see thread "the OTHER existence of God"

But for the record- and anyone here that knows me can attest to this (especially in the swamp)- I do not condemn anyone that believes differently than me, nor do I persecute. No one is perfect, and if I think that I have the right to pick someone's faults out to them, then I am wrong. (see my sig for the quote I live by)
If you want my honest opinion, I give it in love, but I do not look down on anybody. We're all on this planet together.




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Old 03-25-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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I did check your other thread, but unfortunately it's deeply flawed, in that you need to believe that the Christ figure -actually- did come to Earth and was -actually- the literal Son of God, as opposed to say, a wise radical philosopher (I really do appreciate how believing that did affect your life, and I'm glad you stuck through it, but I think that's more an extension in belief in yourself than any God or Jesus, but that's imho).

Now, about the condemnation. Sure, I understand that there are a great many cases where an individual who believes in this or that wouldn't be one to condemn others who thought or believed differently (individual belief is often a lovely thing), but when you consider that when it comes to the masses, there is a great deal of persecution that goes on, which is completely undisputable. Hence I'm more a proponent to individual spiritualism, rather than one to stand under a banner looking across a battlefield in the name of the God I'm not supposed to kill for, except when people disagree with me.

Bottom line, I think our accomplishments would be so much greater if we didn't have this (what is becoming archaic) preoccupation.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Well, once again, I am not trying to debate this god or that god, or if there is one. My intention, honestly, is to just see what people say. Mostly out of curiousity. There is no point is saying my explanation is flawed- because if you say your deal is right, then just say so- but give reasons why you say so. I did that, and I just asked for that in return.

I promise you that I am not here to conquer lucasforums in a crusade lol




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Old 03-25-2009, 05:18 PM   #10
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Haha, I appreciate your candor and humour, I'll come back to this thread when I have time to make a proper reply.

Cheers.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #11
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Try looking at all the things in the Bible that were thought to be nothing more than myths that have actually been discovered. Such as a bunch of Egyptian chariot remains in the Red Sea...
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obi View Post
I want to pose a question to those that believe there is no God. [...] [T]he only thing I am asking is that you actually have a valid reason for this [...] Why do you not believe there is a God? What prompted you in your personal life to believe that no creator of the universe exists?

Thanks for responding!
I've seen no good reason to believe any gods exist. To me, the universe looks just as it should if no gods were present. To put this in perspective, I'd ask if you believe in Zeus or Atun (each one of the many gods in the Greek and Egyptian pantheons of antiquity). If you answer as I suspect, with a "no," my next question would be why not? Both are gods that were believed for periods longer than Yahweh, so what makes these gods irrelevant to you?


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Old 03-25-2009, 08:31 PM   #13
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I've seen no good reason to believe any gods exist. To me, the universe looks just as it should if no gods were present. To put this in perspective, I'd ask if you believe in Zeus or Atun (each one of the many gods in the Greek and Egyptian pantheons of antiquity). If you answer as I suspect, with a "no," my next question would be why not? Both are gods that were believed for periods longer than Yahweh, so what makes these gods irrelevant to you?
In the case of the Egypt didn't they think their rulers were Gods as well? When we compare the Greek and Roman gods of antiquity to Yahweh, there are some marked differences, primarily the weird instances in history, that they are now trying to explain via science, because what they thought didn't happen is looking more and more like it happened.

There are even some instances in modern times that look mighty odd to have been pulled off. Like Israel holding off multiple countries at the same time when they first became a country.

There have been incidents that should have ended in death that have not. There have been unexplainable events that have happened that you really can't explain via science.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:41 PM   #14
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When we compare the Greek and Roman gods of antiquity to Yahweh, there are some marked differences, primarily the weird instances in history, that they are now trying to explain via science, because what they thought didn't happen is looking more and more like it happened.

... There are even some instances in modern times that look mighty odd to have been pulled off. Like Israel holding off multiple countries at the same time when they first became a country.

There have been incidents that should have ended in death that have not. There have been unexplainable events that have happened that you really can't explain via science.
These are arguments for ignorance. Just because you don't know the answer or cause doesn't imply that the dominant myth of your culture is either the answer or the cause.

What are your good reasons for believing in a god?


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Old 03-25-2009, 09:54 PM   #15
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In the case of the Egypt didn't they think their rulers were Gods as well? When we compare the Greek and Roman gods of antiquity to Yahweh, there are some marked differences, primarily the weird instances in history
That is in fact one of the reasons that I am uncertain as to the existence of a particular God or Gods, while not necessarily a true atheist (I would say that I have always been a bit more of an agnostic than anything else). My point is that there are reports of 'weird instances in history' attributed to the ancient pantheons. One in particular, and entirely off the top of my head, comes from Livius' history, during the Second Punic War - lightning strikes on important temples taken to be warnings from Iuppiter, often followed by an important engagement.

I suppose my point is essentially the same as Skinwalker's. For all the bases we have for belief in one God, we have same for others - and that for me contributes to a belief in none.



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Old 03-25-2009, 10:04 PM   #16
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Well, the point of this thread was not to debate whether or not God exists. I just want to know why people who do not believe in God came to that understanding.

Like I said, I promise I am not trying to convert anyone into anything. I am not trying to Christianize the chambers. I am just curious about people. I just want to know.

But for skinwalker, if you want to know why I believe the way I do, just look at "the other existence of God" thread, I lay out my reasons. Once again, not for debate purposes, but for just letting you know why I do.




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Old 03-25-2009, 10:15 PM   #17
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These are arguments for ignorance. Just because you don't know the answer or cause doesn't imply that the dominant myth of your culture is either the answer or the cause.

What are your good reasons for believing in a god?
http://www.biblediscoveries.com/content/view/48/56/


It's a secondary or trinary source, so I'm trying to find a better one. However, it is documented that the Egyptians were known to destroy records and try to pretend like events didn't happen. See the History Channel concerning King Tut. (I can't think of the spelling at the moment so I'm just using the nickname)

I can't see them driving their Chariots into the sea for the fun of it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:39 PM   #18
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http://www.biblediscoveries.com/content/view/48/56/

I can't see them driving their Chariots into the sea for the fun of it.
I have always found the Santorini eruption theory quite compelling for the events of the 'Red' Sea crossing - Source 1, Source 2. And of course there could be other possibilities - it is not unheard of for an opposing army to be driven into a body of water.

But, and more on-topic, that sort of thing hasn't really been a major factor for me in dispelling faith - I have always been open to the idea of God(s) bringing about their will by nature - by using evolution, volcanoes, tsunamis, et cetera.

(And on records, don't forget the Apocrypha or 2000 years of manipulation, misinterpretation and mistranslation of text - and that's just the approximate amount of time the New Testament of the Bible has had to be corrupted. Think how long we've been messing around with the truly ancient theological texts.)


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Old 03-25-2009, 10:40 PM   #19
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See the History Channel concerning King Tut. (I can't think of the spelling at the moment so I'm just using the nickname)
You may want to re-think your source when your source is the same channel that plays "monster hunters", "UFO hunters", "god versus the devil", and other nonsense shows.

History Channel has proved it is willing to put factually incorrect shows on the air, which puts everything they post into question.

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I can't see them driving their Chariots into the sea for the fun of it.
How do you know they were not dumped? Fell in? Caught in a battle or stopped working at one of the land bridges?

The funny thing is about these chariots being found is that these chariots were never actually found. Nobody has ever brought a wheel up. We have pictures from people who claim to have seen such, but no wheels or chariots sitting in museums saying "That was at the bottom of the red sea!", not counting the fact that going down there looking/pillaging/etc is against the law so people that claim to have found these wheels are also criminals.

And just because there could be a well known form of travel rotting at the bottom of a line of water doesn't mean that god sucked them down there.

I could go on, but I'll let the Anthropologist wipe the floor with your suppositions.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
http://www.biblediscoveries.com/content/view/48/56/


It's a secondary or trinary source, so I'm trying to find a better one. However, it is documented that the Egyptians were known to destroy records and try to pretend like events didn't happen. See the History Channel concerning King Tut. (I can't think of the spelling at the moment so I'm just using the nickname)

I can't see them driving their Chariots into the sea for the fun of it.
More arguments from ignorance. Can you ever formulate an argument without resorting to fallacious premises?

The "chariot claim" you're going back to at each opportunity is just what I thought, a spurious claim by the late fraudster Ron Wyatt. Before his death, Wyatt fancied himself an "amateur" archaeologist -except he hadn't any archaeological experience or training at all, making even his "amateur" status questionable.

His claim is that he found "chariot wheels" at the bottom of the Red Sea, although the artifacts he claimed to have found have never been seen or examined by anyone else but Wyatt. But there are several problems with Wyatt's claims. The most significant being no one else has seen the alleged wheel except Wyatt nor did Wyatt demonstrate that the wheels couldn't have arrived at the bottom of the Red Sea by other means (i.e. sinking boats -a very common problem on the sea). Moreover, its telling that he shows multiple styles of wheels: a four-spoke Florence style and a six- or eight-spoke wheel. These are indicative of different periods and different rulers. If a "parting" of the Red Sea is the only method they could arrive, is this evidence of two partings? Or is it just evidence of two different shipwrecks -assuming that it is possible for ships to be present on the Red Sea; for ships to carry chariots as cargo (or at least their wheels); for ships to sink; and for a wooden chariot wheel to survive the waters of the Red Sea for 4,000 years.

So why is this on topic? Because I've taken a single point that Garfield has suggested is "good reason" to believe in his god and shown that it is not good evidence at all.

Arguments from ignorance are the poorest reasons to arrive at any conclusion. For me to believe in something so extraordinary as a god, there must be an accompaniment of reason that is equally extraordinary. Not being able to explain something doesn't mean I get to inject "goddidit."

I don't accept your gods for the same reason you don't accept the gods of the ancient Egyptians, Maya, Greeks, Hawaiians, etc. There just isn't any good evidence or reason to do so.


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Old 03-26-2009, 03:11 AM   #21
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Do I believe there is a god? No.

Like Murph, i've seen no evidence of a god. And, it's cliche, but i've seen far too many good people have bad things happen to them to make me think that there is a benevolent, caring god.






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Old 03-26-2009, 07:47 AM   #22
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With all due respects to skinwalker, true_, and Garf, I really wasn't trying to start a debate. I know that religion (or lack therof) rises passion- but I promise I am not trying to start a debate about the existence of God. I just want to know who believes in what, and why they do or do not.

Trust me! I'm an evangelist and pastor. I want nothing more then to see you come to my Jesus, and I think I lay out a pretty good beginning case in my "the OTHER existence of God" thread. I mean, I can start another thread devoted to debate, but I've been doing it on youtube for a while, and there are certain things that the internet prohibits that are very effective in a live debate. For example, the use of the words"fallacy," "ignorant," "retard," and "moron," often come up on the internet.

Let me just say, that if I do get into a debate, it is not coming from an ignorant, fallicious, retarded, or moronic view. I have good reasons for my faith. Even atheists call me a skilled debator. (not tooting my own horn, I am just saying).

That is why I do not like engagements on the internet. I mean, I show someone stats, facts, and present them logical arguement (which they claim to have SO much of), and then they just end up cussing me out and calling me ignorant telling me to read a science book. Little do they know that I am in a degree program FOR health sciences, and a lot of my information that I use to debate COMES STRAIGHT FROM a science book.
So no, I probably will not debate over the internet. Too much freedom to act like a jackass.




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Old 03-26-2009, 08:55 AM   #23
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I grew up a moderately active non-denominational Christian who has since morphed into apathetic-agnosticism.

I cannot conclusively prove or disprove the existence of the supernatural... hence the agnosticism.

However: I have decided to always live my life in exactly the same fashion even if the issue is ever settled (in either way)... hence the apathy.


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Old 03-26-2009, 12:48 PM   #24
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By all means start a debate thread, if you dislike the "jackasses", do it for the sake of those who sit on the fence. If you think you have sound arguments, I see little reason for not doing it, with any luck it'll push some down on your side of the fence.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:12 PM   #25
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By all means start a debate thread, if you dislike the "jackasses", do it for the sake of those who sit on the fence. If you think you have sound arguments, I see little reason for not doing it, with any luck it'll push some down on your side of the fence.
I was actually thinking about it, seeing the heat this thread ignited. But if you want an semi-in-depth look at why I believe the way I do, there is a short essay in "The OTHER existence of God" thread, right here in the senate chambers.




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Old 03-26-2009, 08:22 PM   #26
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The idea of this thread is to state our religious stance. Here is mine. I was a Christian kid until middle school, when I learned about the gods of prior civilizations (i.e. Egypt, India, and Greece). They believed without seeing like we Christians do. I wondered, how do we know ours is any truer? That is when I began to doubt.

I also learned that unexplained phenomenon that was once attributed to Vulcan and Thor were later explained by science to be done by a natural cause. In our time, we attribute the god of our time for the big bang. See a pattern?

I don’t think it is very likely that the supernatural exists, and there are a lot of natural that we don’t understand.


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Old 03-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #27
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Agh. I'd so love to get into my lack of faith in religion in general. I keep myself agnostic, as of this time, so I don't anger the wrong folks. (See South Park, Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My An*s scene regarding the "correct religion.")

The biggest turn off for me, at this stage in my life, was seeing just the beginning of the movie The American Zeitgeist. The explanation of this series of coincidences reoccurring in countless religions in countless ways... and how most of the coincidences end up being directly influenced by the primitive sciences, technology, and agriculture systems regarding the Zodiac, etc... It was interesting in that way.

I'm sure Master SkinWalker here could shed some light on some specifics, being he's an anthropological genius. =)

Most of the opinions I've read in this thread regarding why they do not accept any specific religion, I find myself agreeing with. So rather than (practically) spam by repeating what others have said, I shall say I concur with several of the previously stated opinions in this topic.

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Old 03-26-2009, 11:08 PM   #28
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Zeitgeist actually had numerous flaws and problems even before it went off the deep end with the 9/11 conspiracy stuff. So bad that I felt ashamed that it was being touted so assuredly by the atheist community at the time. Its been quite some time since I watched it, so to give specifics right now would require that I actually watch it again. Most of it had to do with the Horus/Sun stuff.


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Old 03-26-2009, 11:43 PM   #29
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Aye. I'm not big on the whole conspiracy stuff. I'm more interested with the religious aspects. I saw it once or twice a year or two ago.

If you could ever detail some of those flaws (I never knew of any), I'd be very grateful to your educative information for me.

Thank you, sir.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:46 PM   #30
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Zeitgeist actually had numerous flaws and problems even before it went off the deep end with the 9/11 conspiracy stuff. So bad that I felt ashamed{....}require that I actually watch it again. Most of it had to do with the Horus/Sun stuff.

I agree completely, and not just because the movie was against well....my entire life, lol.

There have been many (both religious and non-religious) people refute and tear the movie apart.




Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?-Matthew 7:3-5
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:21 AM   #31
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Why do you not believe there is a God? What prompted you in your personal life to believe that no creator of the universe exists?
What prompted me into disbelief? I was Christian until about 17, when I discovered I could no longer call myself one in any meaningful sense. Why was that? There are many reasons, I suppose.

I loved science when I was younger. I was homeschooled and my mother had gotten some science book for me published by Abeka. Abeka is a protestant homeschooling curriculum resource; I wasn't protestant. The books contained, among other things, various creationist doctrines and ideas. Their correctness I wasn't really clear on, but I knew one thing: they irritated me. Those ideas just didn't fit with the rest of the content of the book and it was easy even for me to see that they didn't.

Later I encountered people who wanted to know how I knew that God even existed. I had never thought much about it before, so I looked up proofs. The proofs turned out to be inadequate for my purposes, though: they never ended up showing that God necessarily existed, and I knew it. I wasn't stupid, or so I thought. Because of these kinds of discussions, I began identifying the justification of my faith with the need for a rational proof of the existence of an being that has the attributes normally assigned to God.

I didn't find any such "rational proof", of course. After a while I stopped associating myself with those ideas and decided I was no longer a Christian.

Now, though, I think I misunderstood all the talk about God which led me to think of the problem in terms of proving the existence of a "man-in-the-sky." Relatively recently (well, the past year or two) I've been thinking of belief as more of a sociological/psychological phenomenon, and one of the expressions of this phenomenon is to talk about God.

So, instead of looking to see what people say about God and taking it literally, I've been looking at it a bit differently. "God created the world" --> "Part of the concept of God in this religion is that he created the world." This immediately defuses problems associated with creationist and other controversial standpoints, insofar as they are seen as assertoric propositions instead of as belief-expressions. It's no longer necessary to debate these expressions since they are self-evident; it would be like debating whether a person enjoys Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper better. It would be trivial to find out: just ask them what they like.

By continuing in this way, taking the all the various invocations of God into account - praying to God, thanking God, praising God, religious ritual, the behavior associated with belief, belief-influenced kindness, blessings, etc. - we begin to come up with a concept of God quite different from the one usually spoken of in philosophy. It's true that God is said to be the Good, etc, by believers -- but do we need to take everything they say at face value?

Consider this case. A man (Mr. A) is talking to his friend (Mr. B) about how fast a ball will come down from the sky if he throws it up at such-and-such an angle and speed. The other explains to him it will be like this. A says, but how do you know it will come down like that? B: --Because of the law of gravity. A: Prove that the law of gravity exists so that I know it will be as you say. Okay, watch this: --and B drops the ball to the ground. A: But that's not proof; I want logical proof, not an example. What's true once doesn't need to be true again; you should know that. --But you're asking the impossible, it can't be proven like that. You have the wrong idea about what the law of gravity is. A: How so? --You think of the law of gravity as a prescriptive equation, a metaphysical entity in itself that forces the universe to be like it is. Really, though, the law of gravity is a funny way of saying: things fall like this. And he drops the ball again.

It's true we often talk of things in ways superficially confusing. The above is just one example: we have this idea of a law as something that prevents things, and we carry this idea over when we hear of the "law of gravity." Yet that mistake can be fixed easily by saying, --Look and see how we use the "law of gravity" in our life. How much more confusion can be ended by saying, look and see how the concept of God functions in the lives of believers? Their speech is deceptive but their acts are not.

So you can see why I'd think less of those arguments which seemed quite reasonable to me at 17. I was thinking of God as a metaphysical being, and everyone else told me it was true. Like many things I've discovered, though, the things I think and the things I'm told are not necessarily the case.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:10 AM   #32
True_Avery
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My disbelief in god can probably be initially summarized with one picture:


When I was a kid I believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, closet monsters, etc. One by one, however, I started connecting the dots.

Santa Claus stopped becoming real when I discovered, at a young age, that it was my parents. This happened through peers in kindergarten/elementary school, finding presents before hand that were labeled "From Santa", why my parents locked us in our rooms Christmas Eve night, and from basically figuring that he couldn't have been magic because I had never seen evidence of magic.

The same happened with the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc. I often debate in my own mind how much I truly believed in them in the first place, but I know I stopped believing in all of them around the age of 6, but pretended to believe in them till about 9.

Why do I say this?

Because this also describes my experience with religion and gods.

I do not come from a very christian family. My parents both tried going to church and such, but both found their own peace with god and decided they did not need the church or others to determine or change their beliefs for them. They left the church comfortable with their own personal relationships with god, and left it at that.

Due to this, my parents were very "find your own path to god" as I grew up. I knew about Christianity, but here is when things come full circle:

The Bible, God, and the divine Jesus described in the Bible instantly fell into the Santa Claus category for me. I simply assumed this was another story my parents had told me to make me feel better.

The difference between Christianity and Santa Claus, however, is that I never attached myself to the religion and never believed God or Jesus were real from my recollections. I may have at around the age of 4 or 5, but it was not for long.

We sparingly went to Church and for the longest time I never understood what was going on. Why were these people focused so much on this fairy tale? I like the books I had at home, but never assumed that they were real.

We eventually stopped going to Church entirely, as my family was getting nothing from the experience.

This blissfully naive view of "Why do they like that book so much?" went upside down around Middle School. At this time, kids were more knowledgeable about their beliefs and this was when it got shared.

This is when things got weird for me. Not only were there people that fully believed in what I had initially thought to be a story book, but there were dozens of other religions as well.

So, for the first real time, I grew a facination with their logic and researched into the various religions (Yes, maybe extensive for a Middle Schooler but I was always told I was too mature for my age) and made some interesting discoveries.

Not only were there many kinds of religions and gods, but people fully believed them. History class and research showed me the bloodshed and malice created by these beliefs. The happiness and blissful attitudes of the believers showed me that it was a tool for comfort, even though many of them had apparently lived rough lives.

So, I surmised that people stuck to beliefs like Santa Claus for comfort, and no so much a reason to stay in reality or follow rational logic.

Now, keep in mind that I only had a vague idea of what an Atheist was from chatter and only really got the meaning of the word by late middle school/early high school. This was not a pre-conceived notion that I adopted; my disbelief came solely from my own experiences.

Now, this is not to say I was a naive little girl up until then. By the time I hit mid Elementary School and eventually Middle School I had become very cynical towards other people. Why?

I grew up with severe emotional problems. Violent outbursts to sudden onsets of deep depression. This led me to getting into many fights with other kids, mainly due to being picked on and harassed on a daily basis.

By middle school I was so severely broken by years of torment that I could no longer function in a normal classroom. It was recommended I be put into a school for the criminally and emotionally unstable, but I was instead placed into an on campus special education class where I was taught emotional control and given the support I needed to piece myself back together.

After Middle School and into High School I was mostly patched up emotionally but my outlook on life and people had not changed. I had been stabbed in the back by good friends, beaten up by people I considered friends, and other fun things. People were cruel, and out for themselves primarily which only furthered my distaste of people hiding themselves from reality through fairy tales.

High School, however, is when things got interesting. Now that most people had taken the fairy tales to the stage of concreting themselves in an armor against the world, I was suddenly surprised at how outnumbered I really was and opened my up more to the reasons of human cruelty to one another.

I encountered some of my first serious fundamentalists. Gay bashers and racists. Severe hypocrites and liars.

In my Freshman year I was ganged up on by a few friends and a teacher for defending gays. I was laughed at, mocked, and treated like an idiot for apparently not being apart of their club.

This was when I truly became angry at the religious, and that anger stayed for a long time. I had given up fairy tales when I was 6. I had put up with people's beliefs and religions for years and quietly tried to analyze and understand them, but this was when I truly felt that this willful detachment from reality was dangerous to me and others.

From being someone who was always someone looking from the outside in, I saw the many religions being presented and expressed and it was around that time that I adopted the concept of Moral Relativism. If each person thought they were right, who was to say what was right or wrong? It seemed to be the black and white view of the world was what was causing so much conflict.

Now, until High School I had no real solid sides that I stuck to. I followed politics intently after 9/11 and found out in High School that I fit into the "liberal" or "left wing" part of the country more than others even though I dislike the labels.

But, one topic that I quickly became very supportive of was pro gay rights. I have personal reasons for being apart of this that I do not feel I need to share in this thread.

I saw people shot down and mocked, and myself put in corners for this stance. On a day of Silence that I decided to take, myself and others were mocked, poked at, and generally abused in classrooms and hallways. In my last block I was sitting at my computer and this jackass and girl were poking at me and generally being bigots. After an hour of this, I finally snapped, yelled at them, and then left the room.

I then went home and expressed my distress to my mother and became more pissed at the world than I may have ever been beforehand. Not only was I treated this way, but the other people in silence were as well. Which, in the end, justified the need for the day for me.

At that time I hated religion and the religious. I thought they were all ****ing children that refused to grow up. Bigots and fools that selfishly brought pain and suffering in their wake to justify their own happiness.

It took me awhile to get over that initial hate.

This was followed by me reverting back to many of my older beliefs. They were not purposely trying to hurt people. They did it unconsciously, and they did it because they believed they were doing good.

Which brought me around to hating people less, and more of a focus on the concept of religion itself. It was reasonless. It worked with faith.

With History classes, online debates, real life debates, internet research, etc I eventually started to change my view on Moral Relativism to a more Nihilistic approach. Now, like Atheism, I had no idea what Nihilism was at the time. I didn't actually learn what it was till about a year ago and was shocked, yet again, to find my ideas were not original.

I read through the Bible and did other research. I tried to understand religious friends and theists on the internet. It was not till a Sociology class and a very informative History class that I changed my outlook once again.

People are selfish. All people are. Every last one of us. Every action we do is based off of some selfish desire.

Religion was simply a selfish shield from the world. Whether they had been abused, seen others abused, seen atrocities, or seen miracles. I determined that religion was a way for people to cope with the world. To try to stay sane.

I do not believe in god because I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was 6. God/Jesus/etc has never been apart of my everyday life and I have never felt the need to feel their touch, or ever wanted to.

I've been told I'm going to Hell. I've been told I am a sinner. I have been told my life is a lifestyle choice. I have been called lost by the very people who are far more lost and detached.

I can see why people have these beliefs. Why people have held onto what I, personally, let go of as a child. Why, even into adulthood, people will hold onto a blanket or teddy bear for comfort.

I cannot change this. I feel for the same reason I cannot believe in god, many of you cannot change yourselves.

But old habits die hard, and I will admit that I still hold a deep distaste for the practice. I understand the need, but I also view many religious statements and arguments to be dangerous to not only myself, but to many others and will challenge them if that is the case.

God does not scare me. Jesus does not scare me. Hell does not scare me. Religion and those that practice it trouble me. I do not mean to imply I hate anyone on this forum that is religious, but I will admit that your beliefs and the faith you have in them trouble me and make me feel uneasy.

Maybe this is my natural response to something I feel threatened to. A fear based on something I cannot fully understand. But that is just the view and feelings I've gained through my own life of watching all you theists from the outside in.

I could go into specific details as to why, but I don't think this is the thread for that.

That is about all I can say on the topic without repeating myself.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:20 AM   #33
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obi View Post
Why do you not believe there is a God?
I have yet to discover or be presented with a compelling argument that would cause me to believe that such a being exists.

This isn't to say that I didn't have reasons which I thought were compelling, once upon a time, however since they did not hold up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny, I had no choice but to abandon them.

I find that this is the same standard/process that everyone uses to defend their lack of belief in a wide variety of propositions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obi View Post
What prompted you in your personal life to believe that no creator of the universe exists?
I would like to point out that this is actually a separate question which is entirely unrelated to the first. I don't hold a belief "that no creator exists". I don't hold any belief with regards to a creator at all.

There is a huge difference between not having a belief and having a belief that something doesn't exist. Just because there is no evidence for the existence of god, does not mean that he/she/it/they do not exist. However, I don't find this to be a sound reason to accept that he/she/it/they do exist.

I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for reading.
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