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Is there a God?

xxGOLDENxx

Member
Do you mind if I ask why?

well honestly, It's a comfort. I mean why not, sometimes its nice to believe in something beyond this world,(especially since this world is in such a sorry state). Igrorant prolly, wrong highly possible; but to me there really isn't enough overwhelming proof to REALLY pull me to either side of the religion debate. I'm pretty much neutral, but would like to think there's more out there than meets the eye. Don't get me wrong I'm not in church singing "God's" praises; but I'm not openly denouncing him either. a God may exist, or not; no one can really say for sure.
 

Sybarite

New Member
well honestly, It's a comfort. I mean why not ...

On that basis, surely one could be excused for suggesting that we continue to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and the Bogeyman – after we have reached adulthood. Why not?

Invisible friends are "a comfort" to children – does that mean that we could consider an adult who continued to maintain such a 'friendship' to be behaving in a mature fashion?
 

FoxxyDeda

New Member
On that basis, surely one could be excused for suggesting that we continue to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and the Bogeyman – after we have reached adulthood. Why not?

Invisible friends are "a comfort" to children – does that mean that we could consider an adult who continued to maintain such a 'friendship' to be behaving in a mature fashion?

I agree Sybarite, if it is just a question of comfort why stop with god? :D

I think if there is a god, in the religious sense, the omniscient, omnipotent one; one that interferes and listens to prayers and etc, then IT must be stone cold mad and this life we live is a ridiculous waste of time because everything is already written somewhere. :confused:
On the other hand, if there is a so called "supreme being" that created or started everything but is now out of reach, or if this "supreme being" is a creature so beyond our understanding that it is, again, out of reach. Then what is the point in believing in it or not? It does not make any difference. :rolleyes:

I like this quote from S.J. Gould.

"We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes - one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."

This is basically how I try to live my life. ;)
 

Gilgamesh

New Member
Invisible friends are "a comfort" to children – does that mean that we could consider an adult who continued to maintain such a 'friendship' to be behaving in a mature fashion?

So you are stating if you are mature, you should not have faith?

On that basis, surely one could be excused for suggesting that we continue to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and the Bogeyman – after we have reached adulthood. Why not?

Please don't belittle others at a personal level. I believe we all need to have an open mind and try to accept others as they are: Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, whatever they may be. You don't have to be so unkind to another person. Do not force your beliefs upon others as Bush is attempting at Iraq.

"We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes - one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."

This is basically how I try to live my life. ;)

I like that too. Yes we're offspring of history. Most of us are also consanguinous, and our ancestors having had faith. As we have grown we established our own paths, some chose to have faith, some not. And the freedom to have and have not, to have contentment in God or not, in our own chosen way.

I agree Sybarite, if it is just a question of comfort why stop with god? :D

Personally, I do not stop with God. I believe in friendship, love, and humanity. Things that cannot be seen yet I believe, just like you.
 

FoxxyDeda

New Member
Personally, I do not stop with God. I believe in friendship, love, and humanity. Things that cannot be seen yet I believe, just like you.

I am sorry, I don't mean to be belligerent but that is such a fallacy! You are mixing apples and ... bricks...
Friendship, love and humanity have nothing to do with god. These things just are, it is not a question of seeing or believing.
It is like saying I don't believe in Santa Claus but I believe in the feelings of love and harmony from being around my family during the holidays. So Santa must exist. :confused:

... and by the way, you skipped the bit of my reply that actually would ask for a good argument from a "believer", why is that? :p
 

Litany

Active Member
Please don't belittle others at a personal level.

Would it be belittling if instead of using the tooth fairy and Father Christmas she asked why not Thor or Ra? They were every bit as legitimate as God with a capital G in their time and yet now they barely get lip service. What's the difference?
 

Sybarite

New Member
So you are stating if you are mature, you should not have faith?

In my opinion, religious belief is, on at least one level, a security blanket. I say this with the benefit of personal experience. I would also say, from the benefit of personal experience, that religious belief stunts intellectual growth and activity.

Please don't belittle others at a personal level. I believe we all need to have an open mind and try to accept others as they are: Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, whatever they may be. You don't have to be so unkind to another person. Do not force your beliefs upon others as Bush is attempting at Iraq.

I am not forcing anything on anyone – the idea that I'm behaving like Dubya is risable. This is a discussion forum. I am engaging in a debate. In that context, I fail to see how asking a question politely is being "unkind" to anyone, unless they're so sensitive that they fall into a blubbering mess at the first hint of any sort of an intellectual challenge. I don't think that anyone on this thread falls into that category. I apologise if you think that some people should be able to have opinions but others shouldn't or that some opinions should be beyond challenge.

This is debate about the existence or otherwise of a god. That will, inevitably, involve questioning faith or a lack of it. For fairly obvious reasons. Thus far, I think that this thread has been extremely polite and respectful of what is, for many, a sensitive issue.

BTW, accepting others "as they are" – do you reckon we should "accept" those people, "as they are", who believe that a woman should be stoned for having sex or that young men should be murdered for being gay? Do you reckon that we should "accept" those people, "as they are", who tell quite deliberate lies to the poor about condoms or force a nine-year-old rape victim to carry the pregnancy that is the result of the rape to term? And you think that I'm forcing something on people!

Incidentally, religious people choose to believe in their god. People do not choose their sexuality. Your analogy falls before it can get to the first hurdle.

And nowhere have I suggested, nor would, that we should 'be nasty' to religious people because of their beliefs.

... Personally, I do not stop with God. I believe in friendship, love, and humanity. Things that cannot be seen yet I believe, just like you.

To quote Dorothy in the Golden Girls: "Somebody call the schmaltz cops!"

FoxxyDeda was right – to assert that belief in a god figure, for which there is not one shred of evidence, is comparable with aspects of human relationships that are quite normally experienced by the majority of us, together with the mere fact of humanity's existence, is completely fallacious.
 

Gilgamesh

New Member
... and by the way, you skipped the bit of my reply that actually would ask for a good argument from a "believer", why is that?

I don't mean to be sardonic, but your arrogance overflows, because I did not find this 'good argument' as to stand out for me to consider it.

It is like saying I don't believe in Santa Claus but I believe in the feelings of love and harmony from being around my family during the holidays. So Santa must exist. :confused:

This so called 'reasoning' does not make sense. This is where I believe you are (as you put it) 'comparing apples and bricks'.

Has anyone asked such as this: "Do you have faith in Santa Clause?" Never have I heard such a silly question. Now, "Do you believe in Santa?" That is how a normal, person would phrase it. Your so called 'reasoning' is non sequitur because when you have faith in something you believe in that. But, when you believe in something such as Santa Clause, it does not mean you have faith in Santa Clause. The level at which we hold the two has differences of night and day.

And, if you truly think that friendship, love and humanity have nothing with my God, well I truly do understand why you are confused.

But, what good is all this explanation? It seems I am speaking to Helen Keller, and is trying to explain the differences between red and orange. How will she understand when one has never experienced it with her own sight?
 

FoxxyDeda

New Member
I don't mean to be sardonic, but your arrogance overflows, because I did not find this 'good argument' as to stand out for me to consider it.

See it is not arrogance. This is a debate, if you are going to reply it is just fair that you consider my argument as I am considering yours. Just courtesy. I am not surprised though, I am still to find a religious person who can argue this line of thought without getting personal or appealing to faith.

This so called 'reasoning' does not make sense. This is where I believe you are (as you put it) 'comparing apples and bricks'.

My reasoning was ridiculous on purpose to exemplify how you can't compare or call on things that are a simple question of belief to defend an argument. If you didn't get that what can I do....

Has anyone asked such as this: "Do you have faith in Santa Clause?" Never have I heard such a silly question. Now, "Do you believe in Santa?" That is how a normal, person would phrase it. Your so called 'reasoning' is non sequitur because when you have faith in something you believe in that. But, when you believe in something such as Santa Clause, it does not mean you have faith in Santa Clause. The level at which we hold the two has differences of night and day.

Santa Claus was just used to exemplify an entity. I could have said, I don't have faith in Aphrodite but love still exists... it is just a figure. But again if you can't see that...

The moment you use faith to defend an argument the conversation is basically over.

And, if you truly think that friendship, love and humanity have nothing with my God, well I truly do understand why you are confused.

But, what good is all this explanation? It seems I am speaking to Helen Keller, and is trying to explain the differences between red and orange. How will she understand when one has never experienced it with her own sight?

See again, YOUR god, and calling me blind because I don't see YOUR faith the way you do.
That is why talking about god and religion always ends badly... it is like talking to those people with the tin foil hats. They feel the pain from the aliens probing their brains, they believe they see the aliens coming at night, they have faith the good green man are coming to save them. Who am I to argue with that... :whistling:
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
Friendship, love and humanity have nothing to do with god. These things just are, it is not a question of seeing or believing.

An excellent point. Those things existed before the Judeo-Christian tradition, and go back to earliest man. The first time Ug helped Og drag a tree or push him down the hilll in something shaped like a wheel, that is when that stuff came to be. It happened earlier as well as animals are capable of showing "love" and mutual cooperation.

I don't believe that Sybarite has been arrogant, as he has been assertive in his position. A big difference and one that I wouldn't begrudge him for. I believe his merely making the simple point that the basis for believing in God is no different than the basis for beliving in the toothfairy or santa clause. Litany's response sums it up wonderfully:

Would it be belittling if instead of using the tooth fairy and Father Christmas she asked why not Thor or Ra? They were every bit as legitimate as God with a capital G in their time and yet now they barely get lip service. What's the difference?

Just as the Egyptian relgion and many others are now dead religions-who is to say that Christianity won't meet the same fate? What guarantees that Christianity will last? As cultures thrive and as the world changes, we could very well see the big four melded and molded into something virtually unrecognizable years from now.
 

Libra

Active Member
People that "believe" in God need no evidence. Bringing santa and the tooth fairy to a "believer" to the same level as their God is demeaning to them.

Man has interpreted religion beliefs through the years as they see fit for their gains.

Neither side has any "evidence" if their is or is not a God.

We will all find out when we die, too bad we can't come back and talk about it.
 

Sybarite

New Member
... Has anyone asked such as this: "Do you have faith in Santa Clause?" Never have I heard such a silly question. Now, "Do you believe in Santa?" That is how a normal, person would phrase it...

Oh, a "normal person". And why do you think you get to define that?

... And, if you truly think that friendship, love and humanity have nothing with my God, well I truly do understand why you are confused...

Right. So no atheists experience friendship or love, or believe in the existence of the human race, because they don't believe in 'your' god. Yeeeessss. I can see how you'd reach such a conclusion. Have you actually got an intellectual basis for such an assertion?

And 'your' god, eh? Wow. And you call others arrogant. :lol:

By the way, I note that you haven't made a single, solitary effort to explain why anyone should believe in 'your' invisible friend. Have you got any or is it easier simply to decry those who do not believe in 'your' invisible friend with wild claims about lurve and nice things that could have come straight from Hallmark?

Finally, I note that you didn't even attempt to answer my previous post, which I posted in response to your wild assertions that I was like Dubya etc. Was there a reason for your silence?

People that "believe" in God need no evidence. Bringing santa and the tooth fairy to a "believer" to the same level as their God is demeaning to them.

Man has interpreted religion beliefs through the years as they see fit for their gains.

Neither side has any "evidence" if their is or is not a God.

We will all find out when we die, too bad we can't come back and talk about it.

1) People bringing 'god' into government and political and public life and attempting to influence my life on the basis of their evidence-less beliefs is "demeaning" to me and to anyone else who doesn't believe in those myths. Not only that, it's "demeaning" to any country that claims to be a democracy. What is even more annoying is the way in which religious belief is treated as though it's so special that it should not be challenged – or all those poor religious types will get offended. This goes to the extent (and beyond it) of what we have seen here – where you can barely even raise the question of why people believe before someone gets their knickers in the proverbial twist and starts complaining about "arrogance".

2) It is impossible to have evidence for the non-existence of something (see Russell's teapot for an explanation of this philosophical point). There may be something, somewhere in the universe, but it's a pretty fair bet (and I am not a gambler) that there is nothing in existence like the god/s of any of this world's religions, whether past or present.
 

Libra

Active Member
1) People bringing 'god' into government and political and public life and attempting to influence my life on the basis of their evidence-less beliefs is "demeaning" to me and to anyone else who doesn't believe in those myths. Not only that, it's "demeaning" to any country that claims to be a democracy. What is even more annoying is the way in which religious belief is treated as though it's so special that it should not be challenged – or all those poor religious types will get offended. This goes to the extent (and beyond it) of what we have seen here – where you can barely even raise the question of why people believe before someone gets their knickers in the proverbial twist and starts complaining about "arrogance".

2) It is impossible to have evidence for the non-existence of something (see Russell's teapot for an explanation of this philosophical point). There may be something, somewhere in the universe, but it's a pretty fair bet (and I am not a gambler) that there is nothing in existence like the god/s of any of this world's religions, whether past or present.

1)This has happened since the begining ,it's nothing new.Like I said,people use religion for their gain.Reading an autobiography on Joan of ArcI saw how each pope or bishop would condemn her as a witch and then the next one claimed her as a heretic(years after her death).This will never change.
I have challenged my christianity with family, not really getting a straight answer. Believing is a "comfort" because I can't comprehend that "this is it"
You have every right to challenge anything. I personally don't go by the book on do's and don'ts. I don't fast on good friday, and I don't make my kids fast either,but you have others looking at me like "why?" and I tell them that if there is a God he sees me at home and he sees me at church.

We have been brought up "believing" in God, and for me there have been times through my sufferings that I had doubts. I can't prove it, but at times I have used "God" as a comfort, even though it was me who got the nerve to get help for myself when no one else did.

You can understand how it is to be brought up a certain way,others go on believing and others like yourself don't. Who is to say who's right?
Yes, I agree on if someone is shoving their religion down your throat you have the right to challenge them.
 

Gilgamesh

New Member
Deda stated: Friendship, love and humanity have nothing to do with god

Quote SFG: An excellent point. Those things existed before the Judeo-Christian tradition, and go back to earliest man

It is a point because, you misinterpreted my intention. If I led to you believe otherwise, I apologize. I state that I do not stop with God. I believe in things that are invisible to us. Such as friendship, love, and humanity. Only reason to bring about that statement is because the implication of how if I or someone has a faith in something invisible to us, such God at present time, she was implying we should believe in myths and fairytales. (And this is what Deda had stated: Invisible friends are "a comfort" to children – does that mean that we could consider an adult who continued to maintain such a 'friendship' to be behaving in a mature fashion?) Then follows with: I agree Sybarite, if it is just a question of comfort why stop with god?

For Litany, I can easily answer you because one's a myth and my faith is based on a religion. And state this is comparing to apples and oranges. But, I'm not. I myself am not so fully aware of my God's intent for me, for I did not study religion as a profession. But this is my assumption: I believe there stirs a soul inside of humans to recognize that there is something beyond the present. I believe all groups of people had it within them, that there is a higher power than us. And that exact spirit is within me. And as you stated "in their time". At current time, my God has withstood 2000 years and more and I have placed my faith in God. And having this faith, I feel better about myriad of things in I do and with everyone I meet, and not to act unjust to others.

As I have stated before, I accept others as they are: Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, whatever they maybe. And I don't think I have asserted my God unto others. If you believe I did, then, well you know my intentions now. I only entered this thread, because, to stop the unfriendliness to another person.

I think it would be easy for athiests to ask if there is a God, prove it, but, before such a question, I do not believe anyone had disproved him. Until then, peace to you all.

I have to go eat dinner before I can check for grammar. :blush:
 

Litany

Active Member
For Litany, I can easily answer you because one's a myth and my faith is based on a religion.

The ancient Egyptian religion is a myth? And you accuse Sybarite of being belittling? What turns a religion into a myth in your view? Time, or just your personal lack of belief in those particular gods? And if they're not a myth when people are currently believing in them, exactly how long does it take for them to stop existing. Also, what happens when a god dies and how do we know it's safe for us to start taking their name in vain without worrying about lightning bolts?
 

Sybarite

New Member
The ancient Egyptian religion is a myth? And you accuse Sybarite of being belittling? What turns a religion into a myth in your view?...

:lol: Nice one, Litany. As a slight aside, I wonder if Gilgamesh believes that creation myth or the Eden one? Perhaps Gilgamesh him/herself is a myth?

Is it pure coincidence that Gilgamesh is continuing to ignore my posts?

He/she railed at me, calling me arrogant and accusing me of behaving like Dubya (which was quite funny, really, as an example of a completely over-the-top claim), but has refused to respond to my response to that. Perhaps he/she hasn't any answers?

He/she is now also repeating the nonsense of grouping religious believers with gays and lesbians. Let me try this again, Gilgamesh – well done to you for 'accepting' all these people – it must be such a trial for you. But religious choose to believe in the god of their choice/upbringing. It's a choice. People do NOT choose their sexuality, so it's a nonsense comparison.

And as for defending someone against "unfriendliness" – what rubbish. It's a debate. And it was not being held in an 'unfriendly' manner. If you really think that asking challenging questions in a debate or raising challenging comparisons etc in the same context is 'unfriendly', then you need to re-examine your understanding of debate and intellectual inquiry.

This isn't even a particularly robust debate. It's certainly not 'unfriendly' and only you has asserted that it is.

But Litany raises a good point. Everyone is an atheist to some degree or other – Gilgamesh is an atheist to the ancient Egyptian gods (as are the majority). I suspect Gilgamesh is also an atheist where Thor and Loki and Freya are concerned. And countless others.

Finally for the moment: I don't care what people believe. Believe in fairies at the bottom of your garden if you want. I'll defend your right to believe in any nonsense that you like. But I'll also defend my right to call it nonsense and to challenge any beliefs – whether they be religious, political or anything else.
 

Nepenthe

New Member
Do I believe in God?

I don't know. What is the first cause? Man certainly doesn't know.

Do I have faith? Some. Without it, I wouldn't accomplish anything.

Do I believe in religion? No.
 
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