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The Existence of God [Discussion Topic: See First Post]

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Post ID: 1935504 Posted at: 30-Sep-2007 16:15:50
Catharsis
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Here's one that people seem eager to discuss; so eager, in fact, that they've been going off-topic in several other threads that are vaguely related to religion in order to discuss it. So, here's a thread where you're actually meant to discuss it.

So, do you believe in a god or not? And, more importantly for this forum, why?

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Post ID: 1935506 Posted at: 30-Sep-2007 16:16:58
spideraman99
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I honestly can't say. My parents are tryna make me as religious as possible, but I cant really give a straight up answer cause I just cant believe that god did all that stuff

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Post ID: 1935765 Posted at: 30-Sep-2007 18:19:26
Flareon Dude_
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yes, i do believe in my God.

why you ask? it's because i don't care about mixing scientific facs with religion, i like knowing there's something to look forward to in the afterlife, and He is a symbol of guidance and trust for me.
"Do or do not, there is no try" -Yoda
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Post ID: 1935968 Posted at: 30-Sep-2007 19:53:03
klaww
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yes, he is definatly there for us all the time.
Why? i dont really know, but when i pray, i feel like someone is listening to me, and i usually get the help i need somehow
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Post ID: 1936043 Posted at: 30-Sep-2007 20:29:29
Swampert_King456
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Personally, I beleive there is no super being, called God up there. Yes, I do believe there is an afterlife though. But it is completely illogical that any man could exist up "there" refering to heaven, wherever that is anyways. Nothing against religion, but who is to say. I guess we really don't know until we die.
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Post ID: 1937300 Posted at: 01-Oct-2007 20:10:57
Cross Stinger
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I believe in God; however, I do not necessarily accept the Bible, Apocrypha, or other relics or references as absolute truth. I'm considered an agnostic.
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Post ID: 1937407 Posted at: 01-Oct-2007 21:34:15
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I agree with Cross stinger. Well, pretty much the Apocrypha. I agree with the Bible. I beleive there is a God because I just do. When I pray it feels like someone is listening to me and I get tingles down my body. It's pretty much the only time I get emotional. Besides, science can't prove God doesn't exist and they can't prove he does. They also can't prove the big bang. My last reason is because if there is a God, I'm right and I suffer no negative consequnces. If I am wrong I still suffer no negative consequences.


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Post ID: 1937413 Posted at: 01-Oct-2007 21:36:44
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I believe in God and Heaven, but not hell. Just because, well, man wants to know what created him, and accepting God is an easy way to interpret creation.
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Post ID: 1937783 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 13:46:16
Total
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Sure I believe in God, and if your Catholic then you are considered, well odd (where I live) if you don't believe in him (only if you Catholic)

I pray sometimes too, so yeah I suppose, I'm for it.
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Post ID: 1937966 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 15:49:23
guy in oakland
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I got a question about religion and "god",if christianity is true(not saying it is)then what happens to people that have never heard of it before?are they doomed for hell as soon as they are born?I say there are alot of flaws in religion and I just cant say I believe in god quite yet until I got some kind of proof of what he actually did.

also i am not christian I was just using it as an example,just to let you guys know



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Post ID: 1938398 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 20:24:55
Flareon Dude_
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they are doomed for hell, GIO


and what do you mean by flaws? just give some examples.
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Post ID: 1938488 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 21:51:27
Arsonist
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NOTICE: the italicized section of this post is not aimed toward Christians in general. For the most part, it is only in reference to fundamental Christians who would agree with the following statement: If you do not accept Christ as your savior and repent for original sin, you will go to hell, no questions asked. If you do not agree with this statement, I advise you don't even read the italicized portion. But do what you will.


"they are doomed for hell, GIO"

Well, to me, personally, you've just outlined a flaw in fundamentalist Christianity. A person can be doomed for hell just for being a victim of circumstance. Let's look at a few scenarios.

Let's say a soon-to-be-single-mother is dying of heart disease. The infant dies during delivery, as does the mother. This baby, which was a living human, never had the chance to repent for original sin. An innocent child is condemned to an eternity of hellfire simply for not being alive long enough to be Christian.
To me, that is a flaw. As a Christian, I'm sure you know that all humans are inherently sinful because of the actions of Eve when she bit the apples against the word of God. Now, obviously, sinners who have not repented go to hell. So this little child is going to hell simply because they didn't get a chance to apologize?

Next scenario: a man who was raised by pessimistic atheist parents. These parents taught their son that the world was not a good place, and that no benevolent God would allow for such cruelty. Whether you agree with the statement or not, you must acknowledge that some innocent children are raised by that belief. So naturally, that's what they start off believing. So let's say this atheist-born human is drafted into a war at age 18, and then he dies at age 20. He was raised to see the bad in the world, and then he died doing just that. He never had a chance to glimpse any indication of a benevolent God. And for this, he will burn in hell for eternity? Just because he had parents who were not good Christians? To me, that is a flaw.

Heck, even the concept of original sin seems flawed to me. Vengeance is a sin, and yet God has got so much of a grudge that he'll punish us unless we repent for something our ancestors did thousands of years ago? I mean, I can't really control what Eve did thousands of years ago, now can I? It really is't my fault. Yet, because I haven't repented for this original sin - the sin of being human - I'm going to burn forever? I get to experience an eternity of agony because I'm not sorry for having been born? I feel like I'm being treated somewhat unfairly there...

But what bugs me most about fundamentalist Christianity is that it condemns good men. Before you argue, let me explain. It could take a minute, so bear with me.
According to Christianity, Jesus Christ died to forgive our sins. He loved everyone so much that He was willing to let them kill Him - and forgive them for it - just to live the concept of turning the other cheek. Forgiveness. Peace. Right? He was willing to die for the betterment and forgiveness of humanity. Now, being that He is the savior of humanity, it stands to reason that humans should want to be more like Him, right? So we should all strive to do that same sort of thing. If we are attacked, we should turn the other cheek. If we are killed, we should die in the name of forgiveness, and not hold a grudge against our killer. Obviously people don't do this, but that's beside the point. It should be the long-run goal of a good Christian, right? The Christian will slip up sometimes - some more than others - because man is fallible. But the Christian goal should be to live with the same morals as Christ.
Now, let's look at someone who did exactly that. He was willing to die in the name of peace, and he held no grudges. He believed whole-heartedly - perhaps more than any man in recent memory - that violence was wrong. He did unto others as he would have them do unto him, and he treated them as he would prefer to be treated: with peace. Total peace. Does this man sound like a good person? His name was Mahatma Gandhi. He had not accepted Christ as his savior. So this admirable human being, this gentle soul, will theoretically be burning in hell forever. Even though he lived by extremely Christian morals, he didn't do it in the name of God or for His will, so he will suffer eternally. To me, that is a flaw. That benevolent, peaceful, caring, awesome human being will suffer when his only crime was being good in the name of humanity instead of in the name of God.


Now, as for the true topic of the existence of God, I honestly don't know if any intelligent debate can exist. Because the existence of God is purely a matter of faith. It cannot, under any possible circumstances, be proven either way to the living. Everything that happens in life has multiple explanations. And every universal explanation has flaws when you look at it a certain way, science and religion included. So there is no humanly possible way to discern the universal truth regarding the existence of God, at least not one readily available to the living. The truth might become clear in death, but none of us really know because... well, we're alive. Saying "there can be no God" would be like saying "there can be no life anywhere else in the universe." Until you have personally explored every point in existence within our universe, you don't actually know that there isn't life elsewhere. Same with religion. I can say I don't believe there is a God, but until I have experienced every possible aspect of existence (death included), I can't know for sure. So unles you're debating with the dead, there really isn't a way to prove whether God does or does not exist.

There is only logic and faith, both of which stemmed from a basic thirst for understanding. The logical search for validating facts to verify answers, and the faithful accept answers given to them, knowing in their hearts that they are not being lied to. We can't really know who is right yet.

For what it's worth, I am an atheist, but an open-minded one. I acknowledge that an all-powerful all-seeing all-knowing supreme being is physically possible and simply beyond my realm of understanding. But, I have managed to find satisfactory explanations for things using science, so as of yet, I do not believe in God.
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Post ID: 1938557 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 22:33:18
guy in oakland
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thats the flaw i'm talking about,your not gonna see any christians in pakistan(I just went last month so I would know),so how would the people there even know about it?by it I mean christianity

another thing that always has bugged me is when we die what is going to happen?do we get a new life?do we just continue to rot away underground?

so at the end of the day I want to believe in god,but I just cant because IMO I think its impossbile for this just to happen from one person



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Post ID: 1938558 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 22:35:02
guy in oakland
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On 02-Oct-2007 guy in oakland said:thats the flaw i'm talking about,your not gonna see any christians in pakistan(I just went last month so I would know),so how would the people there even know about it?by it I mean christianity

another thing that always has bugged me is when we die what is going to happen?do we get a new life?do we just continue to rot away underground?

so at the end of the day I want to believe in god,but I just cant because IMO I think its impossbile for this just to happen from one person
in response to arsonist...in some religions if the baby is dead before it gets a chance to actually live it automatically gets to go to "heaven"



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Post ID: 1938562 Posted at: 02-Oct-2007 22:39:27
Arsonist
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On 02-Oct-2007 guy in oakland said:in response to arsonist...in some religions if the baby is dead before it gets a chance to actually live it automatically gets to go to "heaven"
Well, true, but that's essentially why I clarified that the italicized portion was directed only at purely fundamental Christianity.
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Post ID: 1938811 Posted at: 03-Oct-2007 10:37:50
guy in oakland
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o my bad idnt read that part



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Post ID: 1939193 Posted at: 03-Oct-2007 16:30:33
Catharsis
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On 02-Oct-2007 Arsonist said:NOTICE: the italicized section of this post is not aimed toward Christians in general. For the most part, it is only in reference to fundamental Christians who would agree with the following statement: If you do not accept Christ as your savior and repent for original sin, you will go to hell, no questions asked. If you do not agree with this statement, I advise you don't even read the italicized portion. But do what you will.


"they are doomed for hell, GIO"

Well, to me, personally, you've just outlined a flaw in fundamentalist Christianity. A person can be doomed for hell just for being a victim of circumstance. Let's look at a few scenarios.

Let's say a soon-to-be-single-mother is dying of heart disease. The infant dies during delivery, as does the mother. This baby, which was a living human, never had the chance to repent for original sin. An innocent child is condemned to an eternity of hellfire simply for not being alive long enough to be Christian.
To me, that is a flaw. As a Christian, I'm sure you know that all humans are inherently sinful because of the actions of Eve when she bit the apples against the word of God. Now, obviously, sinners who have not repented go to hell. So this little child is going to hell simply because they didn't get a chance to apologize?

Next scenario: a man who was raised by pessimistic atheist parents. These parents taught their son that the world was not a good place, and that no benevolent God would allow for such cruelty. Whether you agree with the statement or not, you must acknowledge that some innocent children are raised by that belief. So naturally, that's what they start off believing. So let's say this atheist-born human is drafted into a war at age 18, and then he dies at age 20. He was raised to see the bad in the world, and then he died doing just that. He never had a chance to glimpse any indication of a benevolent God. And for this, he will burn in hell for eternity? Just because he had parents who were not good Christians? To me, that is a flaw.

Heck, even the concept of original sin seems flawed to me. Vengeance is a sin, and yet God has got so much of a grudge that he'll punish us unless we repent for something our ancestors did thousands of years ago? I mean, I can't really control what Eve did thousands of years ago, now can I? It really is't my fault. Yet, because I haven't repented for this original sin - the sin of being human - I'm going to burn forever? I get to experience an eternity of agony because I'm not sorry for having been born? I feel like I'm being treated somewhat unfairly there...

But what bugs me most about fundamentalist Christianity is that it condemns good men. Before you argue, let me explain. It could take a minute, so bear with me.
According to Christianity, Jesus Christ died to forgive our sins. He loved everyone so much that He was willing to let them kill Him - and forgive them for it - just to live the concept of turning the other cheek. Forgiveness. Peace. Right? He was willing to die for the betterment and forgiveness of humanity. Now, being that He is the savior of humanity, it stands to reason that humans should want to be more like Him, right? So we should all strive to do that same sort of thing. If we are attacked, we should turn the other cheek. If we are killed, we should die in the name of forgiveness, and not hold a grudge against our killer. Obviously people don't do this, but that's beside the point. It should be the long-run goal of a good Christian, right? The Christian will slip up sometimes - some more than others - because man is fallible. But the Christian goal should be to live with the same morals as Christ.
Now, let's look at someone who did exactly that. He was willing to die in the name of peace, and he held no grudges. He believed whole-heartedly - perhaps more than any man in recent memory - that violence was wrong. He did unto others as he would have them do unto him, and he treated them as he would prefer to be treated: with peace. Total peace. Does this man sound like a good person? His name was Mahatma Gandhi. He had not accepted Christ as his savior. So this admirable human being, this gentle soul, will theoretically be burning in hell forever. Even though he lived by extremely Christian morals, he didn't do it in the name of God or for His will, so he will suffer eternally. To me, that is a flaw. That benevolent, peaceful, caring, awesome human being will suffer when his only crime was being good in the name of humanity instead of in the name of God.


Now, as for the true topic of the existence of God, I honestly don't know if any intelligent debate can exist. Because the existence of God is purely a matter of faith. It cannot, under any possible circumstances, be proven either way to the living. Everything that happens in life has multiple explanations. And every universal explanation has flaws when you look at it a certain way, science and religion included. So there is no humanly possible way to discern the universal truth regarding the existence of God, at least not one readily available to the living. The truth might become clear in death, but none of us really know because... well, we're alive. Saying "there can be no God" would be like saying "there can be no life anywhere else in the universe." Until you have personally explored every point in existence within our universe, you don't actually know that there isn't life elsewhere. Same with religion. I can say I don't believe there is a God, but until I have experienced every possible aspect of existence (death included), I can't know for sure. So unles you're debating with the dead, there really isn't a way to prove whether God does or does not exist.

There is only logic and faith, both of which stemmed from a basic thirst for understanding. The logical search for validating facts to verify answers, and the faithful accept answers given to them, knowing in their hearts that they are not being lied to. We can't really know who is right yet.

For what it's worth, I am an atheist, but an open-minded one. I acknowledge that an all-powerful all-seeing all-knowing supreme being is physically possible and simply beyond my realm of understanding. But, I have managed to find satisfactory explanations for things using science, so as of yet, I do not believe in God.
The italicised portion makes a lot of sense.

"Now, as for the true topic of the existence of God, I honestly don't know if any intelligent debate can exist. Because the existence of God is purely a matter of faith. It cannot, under any possible circumstances, be proven either way to the living."

I agree, it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God. But it's also impossible to prove or disprove that your morals are "right", to prove whether or not wars are "just", or to prove that the Big Bang created the universe. Does this mean that they should not be debated? No, for it is in arguing for our beliefs that we test our strength in them, and if they are found lacking then they may be replaced with new ones. In debate, we may learn new things about our beliefs previously unknown to us. And, as a plus, it can be pretty fun to debate on a subject that we know a lot about.

Personally, I think just sitting on a belief in anything, not just God, and refusing to engage in any debate regarding it, is foolish. If your belief in something is so weak or so unfounded that you can't produce any logical arguments in its favour, then it's probably one that you shouldn't be holding in the first place.

Intelligent debate can still exist in the absence of hard facts. What you are discussing in such a debate may be entirely theoretical, but so are many things. For example, much work on black holes and quantum mechanics is entirely theory-based. Not being able to see and prove something doesn't mean that it can't be theorised about, and theories are open to intelligent debate.

"For what it's worth, I am an atheist, but an open-minded one. I acknowledge that an all-powerful all-seeing all-knowing supreme being is physically possible and simply beyond my realm of understanding."

Well, I don't think it would be very logical to claim that a non-physical entity cannot exist...

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Post ID: 1939293 Posted at: 03-Oct-2007 17:45:02
super craig
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On 02-Oct-2007 guy in oakland said:thats the flaw i'm talking about,your not gonna see any christians in pakistan(I just went last month so I would know),so how would the people there even know about it?by it I mean christianity

another thing that always has bugged me is when we die what is going to happen?do we get a new life?do we just continue to rot away underground?

so at the end of the day I want to believe in god,but I just cant because IMO I think its impossbile for this just to happen from one person
Same here I want to believe in God, the idea that once I'm dead thats it nothing else isn't the most comforting of thoughts. However if there was a God surely the world wouldn't be in the state it is now, terrorists, Global Warming, incurable diseases and all the other stuff. I'm talking in terms of Christianity because its the one I probably know most about but if God is omnipotent, omnipresent and benevolent then why would he allow all of this to happen? Its for that reason mainly that I doubt that there is a God, plus even though neither science nor religion can prove everything, my money is still on science.
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Post ID: 1939324 Posted at: 03-Oct-2007 17:59:51
Arsonist
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Catharsis:

I do apologize. I should have been clearer. I actually meant I don't know if I, personally, am capable of putting forth intelligent debate on the subject of the existence of God. While I do agree that, as a general rule, debating is necessary to strengthen beliefs, it is not something I can do on this particular subject. Because there really isn't anything that makes me strongly refuse to believe in God. I've just always found it easy to refute other people's so-called 'proof of God.' If there is a God, I am assured that He is beyond my realm of understanding. Not that I do not understand the possibility, but that I cannot comprehend His actual existence. Basically, the only reason I am an atheist is because nobody has ever said anything to demonstrate God for me, and because most religious sects worship Gods that, to me, seem self-contradictory. And I suppose having been raised by atheists probably has something to do with it as well.

And really, it is entirely possible that a physical or nonphysical being exists beyond the realm of what we know. I mean, I can see the logic in thinking our general existence must have come from somewhere. But, I thoroughly believe that - assuming there is a God - He is different from the ways any religions have described Him.

Basically, everything that can be used as 'proof' of God can also be explained by something else scientifically. That's my only real reasoning. I only mentioned the subject in my earlier post to express that I was indeed aware of the topic at hand. As far as I am concerned, the only way for me to argue that God doesn't exist is for someone else to explain why they think He does, because then I can reply. As is, all I can really say is this:
I don't believe He exists because I don't see His existence as the only possibility, and I can understand other possibilities more than I can understand the possibility of God.

(And then, to make me contradict myself by debating, here comes...)

Super Craig:

Just to offer another perspective, I'd like to bring up the movie Minority Report. That is the movie where police officers have the ability to catch criminals before they have commited a crime. The question is, is it just? To punish a person for a crime they have not actually commited yet? I would say not, because you'd basically be punishing them for doing nothing. I'd apply the same logic as a possibility for God. If God condemned us before we had sinned, would it be fair? I would say not, because you would be being punished for something you are, as of yet, innocent of.

Just something to think about.
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Post ID: 1939769 Posted at: 04-Oct-2007 08:38:45
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I don't believe in God. This is not because I believe the existence of one is impossible, it's just that, so far, I haven't been given any convincing evidence for one.
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