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posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 4.7K users
Discussing religion is generally a very bad idea on the internet, but there are a lot of down to earth and rational people on this forum so I decided to give it a go.

I want to hear your beliefs. Also, try to keep an open mind and show respect to other people's opinions. I don't care weather you're a fanatic catholic, fanatic atheist or whatever. Arguing about "who's right" is just a terrible cliche.

Personally I believe that there is a god. I'm not agnostic, I believe in god, but that's just my own spiritual reflection on it. I don't judge other religions and say that "this is right", it's more along the lines of Baruch de Spinoza's take on it where you see god as everything. Maybe there's a word for what that is, I don't know. I prefer to look at everything that is beyond our understanding with humility. Most of my religious knowledge lies within catholicism and I generally agree with the ten commandments, but I also believe that the religion is blurred for the sake of politics, ways of maintaining order and fanatic influences (edit: + things that are lost in translation). In short, I'm a read between the lines kind of guy.

My knowledge on the subject is limited, so it's possible that I won't be able to keep up with the discussion. I'd just like to hear your views :)
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  • I believe there is a God. Not from how I've been raised or from any indoctrination, but just because I can't believe anything else. I decided for myself there is a God, and so that is the path I have chosen. I can't choose differently now, as it's a part of me just like my ability to hear or speak is a part of me. I don't go to church or follow any denominations, nor do I like denominations. I consider the Catholic religion to be different from what I believe, but I'm not a Protestant either. I don't believe any of the Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Islamic, Christian Science, or Scientologist beliefs. I don't know much about Buhhdism, Shinto, or any other Eastern religions but I plan to study them. I've listened to other opinions on the matter of God for years, and read Hitchens and Dawkins, but I haven't heard anything to sway me on it. I believe that when you have faith and love, good works will come naturally, because it will be a part of you to be good if you have true love for others. Unfortunately, I'm not a very Godly person so far, and if I died right now I'm not sure how good my chances would be. I also don't follow holidays like Christmas; I just thought I'd throw that out there, as for a non-Jehovah's Witness that's a bit of a oddity. In fact I somewhat dislike holidays in general.
  • ShaggE;301073 said:
    I like the way you think, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. :p
    *blushes* Thanks, just my view of the world...
  • Secret Fawful;301079 said:
    I decided for myself there is a God
    I' a bit curious about this part. Is it a bad word choice or did you actually decide it? Because I certainly didn't decide not to believe, I just never did. Just like you, it's a part of me, and I can't just start believing, I wouldn't be true to myself, I'd be living a lie, just like you would if you had to pretend you didn't believe anymore, I assume.

    I say that because honestly, if you could decide, I'd probably have decided to believe something. I mean it would be much easier to go through life thinking you won't really die, and instead end up in a better place, rather than believe your own being is going to simply vanish and you won't exist anymore in any way, shape of form. That's a terrifying though. I'd take burning in hell for eternity over that any day.

    So, I'm curious. Not that I sincerely want to start believing, as I said I wouldn't be true to myself if I did. I have to follow my own path, even if it's a hard one to live with. But I'm just wondering if you really thought "okay, I'm going to believe in God now" one day or something. Just seems like a weird phrasing.
    I guess I'd feel the same about someone who'd say they decided to be gay or something. I certainly didn't choose to be straight. If I could have chosen my sexual orientation, I would have chosen bisexual for sure, way more possibilities!
    But I digress.
  • I personally don't understand how someone can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that God doesn't exist.

    From my own personal observations/ponderings of the beauty in nature, the expansiveness of the universe and the complexity and improbability of life itself, it just seems ludicrous to me the idea that it all could have happened by accident.

    For example, from a documentary I remember watching on the Discovery Channel, they said that if our planet were any closer or farther from the sun than it is; if its orbit was more elliptical like that of most all other planets from other systems that have been studied; and especially if we didn't have a moon exactly the size and distance from our planet that the moon is, that life on Earth could not exist.
  • As wonderful as things are, God is something that is even more wonderful, by definition, since he'd have created all the rest, and therefore even more unlikely to have occurred. And God can't have created himself before he even existed, so... I mean I get that the point of God is that he can do anything, and is timeless and just was there already, but as far as I'm concerned it's an answer that just raises more questions.

    Not trying to step on your toes either, just explaining the way it feels to me. Anything that is complex, wonderful and unlikely is less complex, wonderful and unlikely than someone able to create it.
  • I come at that from the standpoint of saying that God created time and space itself, so He doesn't have to live in it. The fact that we live in a universe of linear time, and so can't comprehend existence outside it, doesn't mean it's not possible.

    And also, if one were to think outside the context of linear time, where time as we understand it doesn't exist, then to spend "eternity" with or without God has a different meaning.
  • Maybe I didn't decide. I don't know, I suppose. I can't say what I knew before I was three since three is about as far back as I can remember. Somehow I feel as if I've always believed it.

    As far as the concept of Hell, I don't see it as a true Lake of Fire. I think the Lake of Fire is a metaphor for God's wrath. Imagine not being able to see, feel, think, hear, or speak, or move, but still be able to exist. Well maybe you could think, but that's about it. Imagine that, and the torment of it, with the only knowledge being that you are cut off from God or life forever. That is what I imagine Hell to be like. I feel that that would be the most awful existence possible, and imagine for eternity as well. People say God would have to be evil to do that to someone, but to be honest, if someone doesn't want to believe in a God or doesn't want there to be a God or exist with a God, then what why would God force them to love Him or exist with Him. I once heard an interesting saying that I don't hold to like stone (I don't hold to most things like stone, I only say this is what I believe right now) but think is possible.

    There is no coincidence, only inevitability.

    I think it was inevitable that the universe was formed. I think it was inevitable that Earth was formed in it where it is, and that we humans came to exist. I think it is inevitable that all living things will eventually die.
  • I've never understood the desire to believe in an omnipotent, benevolent deity. If you look at the world, it's pretty clear that if there's an omnipotent deity, he/she/it is not doing a very good job clamping down on evil. I mean, come on. Who is going to complain if God put the smackdown on rapists? Anyone non-crazy? I doubt it.

    That said, I would be somewhat less inclined to disbelieve in a deity like Loki or Kali, who aren't really all that nice. I mean, I don't believe in any deities, I just don't see that there's any evidence they exist. But at the very least it's not such an anathema concept to me to believe in a deity which is not very nice.
  • I knew a Physics Professor who, in the end, admited after studing how the world works and how perfectly blend everything with everything, there's must be God somewhere. And they start to believe somehow.

    I read somewhere, from a Social Stand Point, God is a construction for help us to live better, in the way we always have a security about the stuff we don't understand. Nobody is stoping you to figure out how everything works, of course, but believe in something greater help us to cope with the stuff we simple can't get. For example, after natural dissasters, people suddenly become a bit more religious (Also, they divorce less, because they need a bit of stability in their life). So, in a way, been Atheist is in fact Anti-human nature, and somehow, you will believe in god eventually. (I mean, I read that. I'm not saying all atheists in the world will believe in God anyway in some point of their life, but, for me, make sense).

    For the Record, I'm Agnostic. In fact, you can say I'm Christian (Even Catholic) but I don't feel well saying that if I don't participate in said community. I was infant baptized (Mostly because my mom is catholic) and I did the First Holy Communion (Mostly because I was in a Catholic School), but eventually I grew bored of some ways of the Catholic People, how they divide theirselfes and what not (Combined with lazyness =P), so I decided to not participate in the ceremonies. My mom never actually tried to convince me to go back to participate in the ceremonies, and she respect my decision, but, for some reason, she decided I was Atheist. "No, I'm agnostic, there's a difference" and she relaxed after that. And THAT was the weird part.
  • This is my favorite version of Hell (in the sense that I find it to be the most striking).
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