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So do you believe in God?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Oaz, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Obviously you can answer this question in a lot of ways -- you can say "yes" or "no" -- but there are lots of nuances that make the question different from something like "do you believe in leprechauns?" Hopefully you'll all understand the general terms, but I just want to clarify on a few points.

    God can be Allah or YHWH or Jesus Christ or whoever. This is like a specific God with specific deeds done throughout history -- a more personal God who saves, chooses prophets, makes convenants, and so on.

    Or God might be more abstract, just as a Creator or an Almighty force of good. That is, this God you believe in isn't specific to a religion, although He has qualities like the Gods of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. You might believe this God to have aspects -- YHWH, Allah, Jesus, Ahura Mazda, etc. -- but transcendent of human religion. Perhaps this God chooses to leave us alone, or maybe He still really loves us but wants us to act of our own accord.

    Perhaps you might believe in a general sort of Godhead, a sort of metaphysical power. Say, Nirvana, or heaven, or some kind of universal consciousness. Maybe you believe in the idea of "getting unstuck in time" as per Vonnegut.

    Spinoza's God is the sort of God that is completely impersonal and beyond us. This is God as the universe unfolding over time, the idea that there is some sort of order and beauty to the universe. There is meaning to the world, but no greater power holding us in its hands.

    Atheism and agnosticism are bound to be common responses to this sort of question. I propose a third answer to this: nontheism. It just means that you don't really regard the question of God's existence as really relevant to how you live life -- similar to the question of "do dragons have wings?" or "is there a man at the Motel 6 named Frank?"

    Obviously I have left out a number of answers that you might have to the question of God. This is why I haven't decided to make this thread a poll, since people's beliefs are too nuanced to be really categorized.

    For the record, I am something of a lapsed Christian. I am inclined to believe that there is a God, but I really like the idea of nontheism, since it carries the implication to me that I should stop worrying about higher powers and be busy being a good person. However, questions of belief, religion, and faith fascinate me too much to let the idea of God go. I have had thought that I might be an atheist or agnostic, and perhaps if I were a completely logical and intellectual person, I would be, but I also believe in the idea of faith and "bridging the gap", so to speak.
     
  2. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    I don't believe in a god of any form. In my eyes, when you die, that's you gone forever. We may not be able to comprehend not existing, but that does not mean that it will not happen. I would like to believe as that would make life seem a whole lot better and more purposeful, but belief is not something that you can simply choose to have.

    Ironically, though I don't believe that the way anyone acts has any influence on what happens to them after death, I still try to behave in a 'good' way and have quite strong morals. As an aside, I don't believe that anything is inherently good or evil, but that's another topic entirely.
     
  3. theGodless Gems: 10/31
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    I do not belive in God nor would I be likely to adopt religion if his/her/its existence was proven to me.
    I really belive a hypothetical god would have something better to do than trying impose his morals on everyone and have them worship him.

    I really find your Idea about nontheism appealing since I think a person should do good because he himself chooses to and not in fear of eternal damnation or because he is promised an afterlife in a paradise.
     
  4. Argohir Gems: 10/31
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    I think "barely". As a physical rule, neither power nor material comes to existance from nothing. So there must be something beyond physical rules (metaphysical) which created the universe. I think it is called "God" or "Allah" or something else. Also I don't believe (or I don't want to believe) we won't exist forever, there MUST be something after death. So I believe in Allah but I'm not religious. For example, I have been in a mosque only once and that mosque was a historical one, we were tourists in it.
     
  5. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    @Decados:
    What does lack of a god have to do with the after life? You're talking about two different - albeit related, for many - things.

    My answer to Oaz's question is yes. I believe in a variation of Spinoza's God - a God who embodies the spirit of the universe without being a nanomanager in the lives of the people therein. I'm first and foremost a freewiller.
     
  6. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    It's different to visualise an afterlife without at least something like Nirvana, if not actually a personal God.

    As for the question, yes, I'm Catholic.
     
  7. Elfen Lied

    Elfen Lied The Bird of Hermes is my name, eating my wings to

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    "In this world man's fate is determined by some entity or transcedental force, like the hand of God, at least man know he has no power over his own destiny."


    I believe that there is some Higher power, entity or transcedental force, that has been called God. It is this so called being that is the root cause of so called miracles, like the marks of the true stigmata, (not some guy stabbing his hands and feet) and statutes crying blood, (the proper ones, only the ones that are proven to be miracles), and things of that nature.

    but i dont believe that this being spend seven days making the universe or hald of the **** in the first hald of the bible, unless there is fact to back it up.


    but just to clear things up here im no catholic, im a Scottish Presbyterian, which is part of the Protestant church, but im pretty lapsed when it comes to relgion
     
  8. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have not seen evidence of a God in the Middle Eastern sense (i.e. Christian, Jewish, Muslim type God who created stuff and tells people what to do) therefore I cannot say I believe such a thing exists.

    But I don't think the question is completely without merit, so I'm not completely "Nontheistic". And I don't dis-believe such a thing, so I am not strictly athiestic either.

    Maybe in the sense that Oaz claims to be a lapsed Christian - maybe this makes me an undiscovered Christian. But don't take that as invitation for all the missionaries to come knocking at my door with their pamphlets to show me the light.
     
  9. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    No, I don't think there's a God. Never have, probably never will.
     
  10. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    I have found this to be an attractive interpretation of God. (Mind you, though, I think a lot of interpretations are attractive, but that's just me.) The main issue I take with this is that it's not an especially comforting view. I recall one theologian stating that events like the Holocaust make us rethink the idea of God as "one of us writ large", but Spinoza's God leaves me with little reassurance. The idea that we are free to as we choose -- without divine consequences and intervention -- is exhilirating and liberating and terrifying.

    Regarding nontheism -- how about this idea: that you live as if God exists? If he doesn't, then you still assert and try to live up to transcendent values -- e.g. love, forgiveness. If he does, then it's an affirmation of the existence of transcendent values. Even if I can't bring myself to believe in God (some days), I can still believe in human love.
     
  11. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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    I don't think there is a God, a higher power, or anything that controls destiny. Like Han Solo said:

    "Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff. But I've never seen anything to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls MY destiny."
     
  12. Wordplay Gems: 29/31
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    Same as above. There are no gods in any form. Unless, of course, a trio of naked angels suddenly appears to my door and offers a full-night tryst at the backrooms of Heaven. Then I'll become christian, buddha, hindu, muslim, or whatever they ask. :D
     
  13. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    What if God *is* the universe and created itself...
     
  14. Eldular Gems: 10/31
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    12 - 4, now ye get what I ment in my post mayhap?

    As for me, yes I believe in Jehova.

    [ September 05, 2006, 08:26: Message edited by: Eldular ]
     
  15. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Easy answer: no.

    Slightly more involved answer: I'm an apathetic agnostic. According to Wikipedia my creed is "We don't know and we don't care", and that about sums me up.
     
  16. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
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    Duh, well like God can exist for all I care and I hope I've been s goofd amusement while I've been here and hope I've had some good influence on other peeps although that's not much likeluy but if someone's suffered a little less, I mean if I've eased someones sufering then all's good as much as I care...If I've caused more pain than good then I'll be damned even if there'd be no god, It'll al come out even in the end, I hope...
     
  17. Late-Night Thinker Gems: 17/31
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    When I hear a song, it causes me to be happy or sad, or any number of nuanced feelings. I know that the song is really just vibrations in air pressure effecting my nervous system via stimulation of my ear drums---but regardless, songs have made me cry. Songs alter a day's trajectory, or provide an understand where confused feelings were once prior.

    That is my god: the feelings stimulated within me by the world around me. I don't expect the stars to provide a home after my death, but goddamn they are beautiful on a clear night.
     
  18. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Close enough.
     
  19. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    I don't believe in one and if there was one I'd have a few things to say to him such as why hasn't he sorted this **** out with people fighting over who the true god is... but that's probably another topic.

    To put it bluntly I see no evidence of there ever being a god and it would take some act of divine intervention to make me even believe in a god - however it wouldn't mean I'd worship him.

    I see religion to be a source of quite a few of the worlds major problems and if there is a god? He's failed in my eyes.
     
  20. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I do Believe in God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

    And a few rebuttals for discussion...

    You're right, such a concept is very foreign to me, just as the possibility of No God at all is virtually unthinkable to me.

    But what of the concept of God as the father of our spirits? If that is the case, then His concern for our welfare is Highly justified.

    If I remember correctly, wasn't Spinoza's book titled "The Ethics"? Basically, I read into that as yet another form of councel on how to live our lives. And though the Bible does contain a number of laws and guidelines, we have the choice to abide or refuse them.

    And ultimately, you have to discover this for yourself. You can hear me or Chev talk about our faith until we get carpal tunnel so bad our hands are amputated and it won't give you your answer...

    Ah yes, Pascal's Wager. If we choose to believe, behave as believers then the rewards await, and if we are wrong, the point becomes moot real fast. I fear too many take the reverse of that, and put themselves before others believing there to be no consequence...

    I see the opposite. I see Pride, Sloth, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Wrath and Envy as the source of the world's problems.

    Did Catholicism cause the crusades? No, it was a Pope who envied the denezens of the Holy Land and sought to abuse his authority to start a series of wars to claim it.

    Does the Roman Catholic church spread AIDS? No, it is the lust of those inflicted that leads them to have sex protected or otherwise.

    Does Religion contribute to poverty? No, Corporate and government greed creates an economic system that fails to provide for all the people.

    These are just some examples, but God, nor religeon itself is to blame for the ills of the world. It is, rather, the things that Christianity preaches against which send this worls spiralling into the potty...
     
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